The Olympics is facing backlash after the official Twitter account for the event shared praise for an alleged Iranian marksman who won the gold medal in the air pistol men’s final.
Several Iranians and certain activist organizations took to social media to share their distaste with the celebratory tweet for Javad Foroughi, claiming he is a member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United States.
“Golden debut! Javad Foroughi wins gold in the air pistol men’s final, breaking the Olympic Record on his first Olympic appearance,” the Olympics Twitter account wrote. “Well done!”
In a statement provided to the Jerusalem Post, the Iranian human rights organization United for Navid, a group of prominent Iranian activists and athletes, said it “considers the awarding of an Olympic Gold Medal to Iran marksman Javad Foroughi not only a catastrophe for Iranian sports but also for the international community, and especially the reputation of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The 41-year old Foroughi is a current and longtime member of a terrorist organization [IRGC].”
The organization also said it wrote “to the IOC earlier this year and warned them about the possible presence of the military and even politicians serving as athletic representatives of Iran. Officials of the IOC never took any action. Awarding an Olympic gold medal to a member of a terrorist organization is an insult to other athletes and a black mark on the IOC. United for Navid calls for an immediate investigation by the IOC, and until an investigation is completed the suspension of any medal award.”
Ellie Cohanim, a broadcast journalist who served as Deputy Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism at the United States Department of State, also spoke out about the praise issued by the Olympics.
“What a disgrace for the @Olympics this guy has been outed as a member of the #IRGC, a US designated terrorist organization,” Cohanim wrote in a tweet.
American journalist Masih Alinejad, a native of Iran, also spoke out about the issued praise for Foroughi from the Olympics, writing in a tweet that his participation and subsequent victory “is an affront to the Olympic ideals.”
“U.S. names #IRGC a terrorist group. #JavadForoughi a member of IRGC was allowed to take part in Tokyo Olympic & win gold in men’s 10m air pistol,” Alinejad wrote. “He dedicated his gold to Ali Khameni the leader of IRI. Sport being used to normalize dictatorship. An affront to the Olympic ideals!”