BEIRUT

Olympics

Iran says Olympians will compete against Israelis

  • The head of Iran's Olympic delegation Bahram Afsharzadeh signs a board during the official welcome and flag raising ceremony at the Olympic Village in east London on July 23, 2012 four days before the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games. (AFP PHOTO / POOL / KHALED DESOUKI)

LONDON: Iran chef de mission Bahram Afsharzadeh says his country's athletes will compete against Israelis at the London Olympics.

Iran has been criticized in the past because some of its athletes withdrew from events against Israelis at the 2004 Athens Games and 2008 Beijing Games.

Afsharzadeh says "we will be truthful to sport."

Afsharzadeh also says Iran would "respect" a minute of silence if it was held in the opening ceremony to remember the 11 Israelis murdered at the 1972 Munich Olympics. The IOC, though, has rebuffed Israel's plea for the commemoration.

Afsharzadeh spoke in the athletes village after signing the "truce wall," an initiative calling on warring parties around the world to end hostilities during the games.

 
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