In Brief: Iran working with Qatar to suppress World Cup opposition

Iranian football team at Qatar World Cup > Tasnim News Agency, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Jerusalem Post has this week reported that Iranian authorities have been working with Qatar to suppress expressions of anti-regime sentiment at the ongoing FIFA World Cup.

In a leaked recording, IRGC Basij commander General Ghasem Ghoreyshi told a Fars news reporter that Qatar had provided a list of Iranians who had bought tickets to the games, noting that the list included 500 individuals known for anti-regime activity.

Qatar and Iran have agreed not to allow those individuals entry to Qatar, while another agreement prevented the opposition Iran International news agency from entering Qatar.

Iran International announced in mid-November that Qatar had revoked permission for its reporters and crew to cover the World Cup.

Qatari authorities have also agreed to prevent anti-regime symbols, such as the “women, freedom, life” slogan and the pre-revolutionary Iranian flag, being shown at the World Cup.

Iran International has reported that Iranian fans attempting to bring these symbols into games have been prevented from entering stadiums and even detained by police.

In the recording, it is claimed that a number of tickets were provided for Basij officers to “help” at the games, including with tents where the teams are stationed to distribute food and promotional items.