Iranian Weightlifter Banned for Life After Shaking Hands With Israeli Opponent

After he was spotted shaking hands with a competitor from Israel, an Iranian weightlifter was banned for life.

Mostafa Rajaei took a photo with Maksim Svirsky at the World Masters Weightlifting Championships in Poland.

The New York Post noted that Iran does not recognize Israel and disallows any contact between Iranian athletes and Israeli athletes.

The Iran Weightlifting Federation has announced that the weightlifting federation has banned athlete Mostafa Raaei from all sporting facilities in the nation for life and dismissed Hamid Salehinia, the head of delegation for the competition.

The federation described the act as “unforgivable.”

Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran’s supreme ruler in 2021, asked athletes “not to shake a hand with a representative (of the Israeli) criminal regime for a medal.” In recent years, Iranian athletes have been disqualified or given medical certificates in order to avoid Israeli athletes.

Rajaei had “crossed red lines” of the Islamic Republic at an event where a delegation of Iranians was “sent with support from the Federation.”

Rajaei placed second in the 240-pound category for men over 35 years old. He set a new world record for a clean and jerk of 430 pounds.

Rajaei was a member of the Iranian National Team.