Man Celebrating U.S. Soccer Win Shot Dead in His Car by Iranian Police

Mehran Samak. Image: Twitter, @AlinejadMasih

When the last whistle blew in the World Cup soccer match between Iran and the United States signifying the game was over and the U.S. had come out on top 1-0, a strange thing happened in the streets of Iranian cities.


Thousands of people began to celebrate their country’s loss.

Mahsa Amini was a 22-year-old woman whose death while in the custody of the Morality Police set Iran on fire and resulted in protests in hundreds of cities and more than 340 deaths.

Related: Iran Calls for U.S. Suspension After U.S. Soccer Briefly Scrubbed Iranian Emblem From Flag

Celebrating the “Great Satan’s” victory over Iran in a crucial soccer match was a way for protesters to demonstrate their hate for the regime.

One of those protesters was Mehran Samak, a 27-year-old from the city of Anzali in eastern Iran. He was sitting in his car with his fiancé, honking his horn in jubilant celebration for this telling blow against the regime.

Then, according to several eyewitnesses, a member of the security services walked up to his car and shot him in the head. He died at a hospital shortly afterward.


Daily Mail:

Many saw the match result as a victory against the Iranian government, which has cracked down on nationwide protests that have engulfed the Islamic Republic for months.

In Iran’s Kurdish region, football fans set off fireworks and honked car horns early on  Wednesday to celebrate the Iranian team’s defeat.

Some shouted ‘Death to the dictator,’ a popular protest slogan referring to the Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The western Kurdish region of the country has seen particularly intense protests and a deadly crackdown by security forces, which has seen at least 300 people killed.

Did you ever expect to see an American flag being waved in the streets of Iran?



The Iranian soccer players probably don’t understand the hatred directed against them. Last week, they stood stone-faced, refusing to sing the Iranian national anthem as is traditional before a game. The world noticed and the world cheered.

But the Iranian authorities took a dim view of this exercise in freedom of speech. And some Iranian experts say the players may be in trouble when they return home.

“Given what we’ve seen from the Iranian regime … they’ve shown themselves to be brutal and there’s no reason to believe they’re going to suddenly become rational,” former CIA operations officer Mike Baker told the New York Post.

On Monday, CNN reported that families of the Iranian team were threatened with imprisonment and torture if the players failed to “behave” before their match against the US. Iranian players were forced to meet with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps after demonstrating before the England game, the report added.

Elnaz Rekavi, an Iranian rock climber, is reportedly under house arrest in her home country for competing abroad in October without a mandatory hijab — which many perceived as a gesture of support for Amini. Rekabi, 33, was threatened with the seizure of her family’s property unless she made a “forced apology,” according to reports.

Now, the Iranian team could face fines or even arrest in the wake of Tuesday’s defeat once they arrive home — as retaliation for their disloyalty and their failure to beat the enemy, Baker said.


In truth the Iranian soccer players played their hearts out against the U.S. It was an incredibly tense, exhausting match as both teams left it all on the field. I can certainly understand the impulse to get back at the regime for its brutality in trying to put down a popular uprising. But the Iranian soccer players deserve better for their efforts.



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