Iran’s Only Female Olympic Medalist Says She Has Defected

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Discussion posted by: Johnf44

An Iranian Olympian, Kimia Alizadeh, has reportedly defected from the Islamic Republic, according to a letter she published on her Instagram account on Saturday. The letter was published in Persian and is accompanied by a black and white image of her from the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She describes her decision to leave as difficult, but referring to herself as “one of the millions of oppressed women in Iran,” Alizadeh says it was necessary. “This decision is even harder to win than the Olympic gold, but I remain the daughter of Iran wherever I am,” Alizadeh writes. In her letter, she accuses officials in Iran of sexism and mistreatment and criticizes the compulsory wearing of hijab headscarves in public for women. Her defection comes at a time of high tension between Iran and the United States…