Hundreds of beautiful Iranian women have been turning out to watch their country’s soccer players at the Asian Cup tournament, now under way here in Australia.
It has caused consternation back home in Iran, where women are not allowed to attend men’s sporting events. Here is the Sydney Morning Herald:
Ali Akbar Mohamedzade, head of the moral committee of the Iranian Football Federation, issued [a] warning last week as photos of players with women fans circulated on social media.
“National team players should be aware that they won’t be used as a political tool so that those who take pictures with them don’t use these photos against the players,” Iran’s “Shahrvand” newspaper quoted him as saying. “So according to this they should not take photos with everyone. If the players don’t respect this, we will be obliged to take action.”
It is an indication that Iran is not as monolithic as many Westerners believe. Despite the fierce anti-Americanism of the government, the people are surprisingly Western in their outlook, and in fact very pro-America.
Tens of thousands of Iranians live in Australia. They are showing their support for their former homeland with their enthusiastic support for the Iran soccer team (one of the favorities for the tournament, by the way).
But they are also showing that Iran could one day change in ways that no one expects.