Iranian Athletes will Compete with Israelis in 2012 Games
After boycotting participation in events with Israeli athletes in 2004 and 2008, Iranian participants will compete with Israelis in the 2012 Olympic Games.
Iranian athletes have gone so far as to sign a pledge, backed by the United Nations, to uphold the “spirit of sport” in London and check aggressions at the door.
In the past Israel has accused Iran of withdrawing from competition for political reasons, while athletes and their coaches have cited a number of reason for withdrawal, including injury and illness.
Israel remains on guard, due largely to recent events in which a bus carrying Israeli tourists was bombed in Europe. Israel has accused Hezbollah, a group known to be hostile toward Israel that is also backed by Iran, of such atrocities. The Islamic Republic has deemed the accusations as “ridiculous”.
Secretary General of the Iranian Olympics Committee, Bahram Afsharzadeh, has gone one to state, “In sport and in Olympics, all the countries must (be) together with the teams in friendship,” and “Solidarity for all the countries is very important.”
Iran has 54 athletes competing in the 2012 Olympic Games, Israel has 38 in attendance.
Britain is preparing to launch its largest peacetime security operation with the 2012 Games. G4S security has been commissioned to help control the event’s security. However, their numbers have proven to be insufficient for London’s needs, so 3,500 soldiers have been reassigned to help with the efforts. An additional 1,200 soldiers are on stand-by if needed.