Iranian volleyball player posted support for Israel on social media, and then she disappeared

Mobina Rostami posted on Instagram she was 'ashamed' of Iran's attack on Israel and 'the people in Iran love Israel and hate the Islamic Republic'; social media accounts closed and whereabouts unknown

Smadar Perry|
As tensions continue to rise between Israel and Iran following the Islamic Republic's attack on Israel and threats from Israel to counterattack, a number of Iranian athletes expressed support for Israel, despite the risk involved. Mobina Rostami, who plays on the Iranian women's volleyball team, came out against the attack, expressed support for Israel and was arrested by the authorities. Now, no one knows where she is.
"As an Iranian, I am truly ashamed of the authorities' attack on Israel," Rostami wrote on Instagram on the night of April 13, when Iran attacked Israel with hundreds of anti-aircraft missiles and drones. "But you need to know that the people in Iran love Israel and hate the Islamic Republic."
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שחקנית הכדורעף האיראנית מובינה רוסטאמי
שחקנית הכדורעף האיראנית מובינה רוסטאמי
Mobina Rostami

Since that message, Rostami's social media accounts have been closed and she has been arrested. There is great concern about her condition, which is currently unknown. "Only God knows what they did to her," friends posted on social media. "We will shove you in a bag," read one of the responses to her words, from an Iranian account.
The day after the Iranian attack, a series of senior sportsmen in Iran came out openly and with great courage against the regime. The most famous of them is Ali Karimi, a former star of Iran's national soccer team. Karimi uploaded a post to the X social media platform. in which hands were seen joined with the Israeli flag and the flag of Iran from before the Islamic revolution in 1979, with the caption: "We are Iran, not the Islamic Republic."
In 2022, the home of Karimi, who became known as the "Asian Maradona," was confiscated after he called for a coup in Iran in the wake of the protests that broke out in the country following the beating to death of Mahsa Amini by the local modesty guards for wearing the hijab in an "inappropriate" manner.
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עלי כרימי
עלי כרימי
Ali Karimi, a former star of Iran's national soccer team, also supported Israel
(Photo: Getty Images)

Another former player for the Iranian national soccer team, Milad Zeneyedpour, also spoke out against Iran's handling of the tensions in the region. "This war has nothing to do with me. It does not represent me. I am not the Islamic Republic. This regime sees only its own survival before its eyes. The economic situation is difficult and they are investing millions in missiles," he said.
In addition, Vahid Sarlak, coach of Iran's judo team, wrote on Instagram: "We Iranians are fighting in the Islamic Republic and not in Israel. We have no problem with the Jews and the Israelis. We see them as our friends. The Iranian people should not pay the price of the regime's madness."
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