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August 21, 2004Top

* IRI would rather keep the streets calm

With enemies both inside and outside our country we don't stand much of a chance [Not to be]. The result of the game was a foregone conclusion. But nowadays major sports events are not really about honest competition, athletism and sportsmanship but mostly about politics and financial power.

The IRI does not have the best interests of the Iranian nation at heart otherwise it would lodge serious complaints with regards to having two Arab referees in such an important game.

What is amazing is that the main referee was from Lebanon the country which benefits most from our petrodollars and for which the IRI has set up so many schools and hospitals and training camps.

Just as an example when the Iran Air Jumbo aircraft was flying to Paris in the late 1970s and it was told to divert its flight to land in the old Orly airport instead of the new and prestigious Charles de Gaulle Airport the Shah of Iran personally took it upon himself to call the then prime minister of France Giscard d'Estaing and he told him that either the Iran Air flight will go to Charles de Gaulle or Iran Air will suspend all future flights to France all together and the relations with France will also suffer. That's what it means to be the father of a nation and to have its interests at heart.

But just as you mentoned the IRI would rather keep the streets calm and the people docile. A soccer victory cannot be allowed to ignite minor uprisings here and there.

Good day.

Dariush Khatibi

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