Iranians took to the streets in several cities early Wednesday to celebrate the Iranian national football team’s elimination from the World Cup after losing 1-0 to the US, videos circulating on social media showed.
Videos posted on Twitter by the activist group 1500tasvir showed people dancing, chanting anti-regime slogans, and sounding their car horns across Iran, including in Tehran, Zahedan, Sanandaj, Isfahan, Qom and Mashhad.
The US beat Iran 1-0 on Tuesday and progressed to the knockout stage at the expense of Iran who are out of the competition.
Many Iranians have turned against their national football team amid ongoing protests in the country. They see the team as representing the regime rather than the people of Iran. Some in Iran had also celebrated Iran’s 6-2 defeat in its opening World Cup match against England, posts on social media showed.
Waving American flag in the streets of Iran.— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) November 30, 2022
For 43 years regime brainwashed Iranians to hate America.
But see how people across Iran are celebrating the victory of Us soccer team against the Islamic Republic.
People are heard shouting "America, we are behind you.”#MahsaAmini pic.twitter.com/cjvQ89GFMy
People in Behbahan, a city in the southwestern Khuzestan province, let off fireworks to celebrate Iran’s elimination from the World Cup, one video showed.
Another video showed people dancing in the streets in Qom, a city considered to be Iran’s “religious capital” as many senior Shia clerics are based there. The city is also home to the shrine of an important Shia figure.
In Marivan, a city in Iran’s Kurdistan province, protesters chanted “death to Khamenei,” in reference to Iran’s highest authority, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
Protests have swept across Iran since September 16 when 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini died three days after collapsing in police custody.
Demonstrators have been calling for regime change in the protests which have become one of the boldest challenges to the Islamic Republic since its establishment in 1979.
Security forces have killed hundreds and detained thousands, according to rights groups.
“The Islamic Republic spent over 43 years and billions of dollars on ideological programs in schools and TV to depict America as the enemy. Now many across the country celebrate the Great Satan’s win against IRI team. What a humiliating defeat for the Islamic Republic,” Amir Toumaj, an expert on Iran, wrote on Twitter.
The Islamic Republic spent over 43 years and billions of dollars on ideological programs in schools and TV to depict America as the enemy. Now many across the country celebrate the Great Satan’s win against IRI team. What a humiliating defeat for the Islamic Republic.— Amir Toumaj (@AmirToumaj) November 29, 2022
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