Iran Controversies


Sydney Moriarty, Junior Editor in Chief

On Tuesday, November 29th of 2022, the United States Men’s National Soccer Team played against Iran in the FIFA World Cup. During the opening Iranian national anthem, the Iranian soccer team stood silent- a form of protest against the government regime happening in Iran. In support of this, the United States soccer team posted pictures of the Iranian flag on social media, but without the symbol of the Islamic Republic. The Islamic Republic of Iran replied, saying that America “removed the name of God” from the flag. After this, the Iranian government wanted to knock the United States out of the World Cup no matter what, but we can all see how that worked out. 

This followed a long and harsh history of conflicts between the United States and Iran. One of the main conflicts was a hostage crisis that happened between the two countries in 1979. After that, the United States and Iran cut relations, but this was only one of the issues the two countries had with each other. Because of the many conflicts that the Islamic Republic of Iran has with the United States, the Islamic Republic hates the United States. However, the Islamic Republic does a lot more than just say that they hate the United States; to celebrate their country becoming what it is today, many burn the United States flag in celebration. 

On September 13th, 2022, twenty-two-year-old Jina “Mahsa” Amini was arrested by the Islamic Republic’s “morality police.” They say that she was arrested for wearing her hijab improperly according to governmental standards. On September 16th, Mahsa Amini died in police custody under suspicious circumstances. The Law Enforcement Command of the Islamic Republic of Iran said that she had a heart attack and fell into a coma. However, witnesses stated that she was severely beaten including a hard blow to her head. After her murder, protests rose all across Iran. It opened the world’s eyes to what harsh living conditions women and the general populace have to live in Iran. Her death didn’t just open the eyes of the world but also inspired protests throughout Iran for women’s rights and human rights in general. 

Since the protests started, many people have been greatly affected. Some of the murders that have made it to headlines include: 

On December 14th, 2022, Amir Nasr-Azadani (A twenty-six-year-old soccer player who was protesting back in Iran) was sentenced to death for his participation in protesting for women’s rights and freedom. This shows that while what the Iranian soccer players did to support the women of Iran was very noble and brave, it didn’t come without consequences. 

December 18th, 2022 a twenty-three-year-old named Majidreza Rahnavard was hanged in public from a crane by the Islamic Republic of Iran at the center of the protests. He was suspected of killing two members of the paramilitary Basij force (affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards). In the court he was “not allowed to choose his own lawyer, challenge the evidence against him, or ask for the trial to be held in public” ( The Islamic Republic of Iran let his mother visit him before he died, but failed to tell her that her son was being killed. 

Taraneh Alidoosti (Thirty-eight-year-old actor from “The Salesman”) was arrested for supporting the recent protests. On her Instagram, she is quoted saying “Your silence means the support of the oppression and the oppressor” ( 

On Saturday, January 7th, 2023, Mohammad Mehdi Karami and Mohammad Hosseini were executed. These two deaths mark the third and fourth men to be killed for protesting women’s rights in Iran. They were also accused of killing a member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s volunteer Basij force. 

 “The weaponization of criminal procedures to punish people for exercising their basic rights… such as those participating in or organizing demonstrations… amounts to state-sanctioned killing,” UN human rights chief Volker Turk said’ (Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty Twitter). 

The Iran v. United States World Cup game was just one of many historical disagreements between Iran and the United States. There have been many altercations between the United States and Iran, including the Russo-Ukraine War. You may be wondering what a war in Ukraine has to do with Iran. Iran sided with Russia and the United States sided with Ukraine. While the United States has been supplying Ukraine with many supplies, Iran has been supporting Russia with supplies, missiles, attack drones, etc. 

However, no matter what terrible things the Islamic Republic has done, this isn’t the work of many of its citizens. Just like in Russia, the government is controlling the people- not the other way around. Many, many people have been on the streets protesting in Iran for women’s rights and human rights in general. However, the Islamic Republic is murdering protesters to try to control them.