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Iranian soccer great Ali Daei has seen his family targeted for his vocal support for protestors.
According to the New York Times, Daei has been ”speaking up for months,” and “telling Iran’s government to respond” to their demands.
Sure enough, the Iranian government began punishing Daei for speaking up, shuttering multiple businesses he owned.
But that pales in comparison to what they did recently.
The Times reported that the government forced an airline to land mid-flight so they could remove his wife and daughter. Apparently, both were trying to leave the country, and the government interceded to prevent their departure.
Daei’s daughter was questioned and released, but wasn’t allowed to re-board the plane.
This is the latest escalation in the government’s crackdown on protestors. The Iranian soccer team also faced threats for their silent protest of the national anthem during the World Cup.
Iranian Government Continues to Punish Dissent
The government of Iran clearly understands the power of celebrity and influential figures speak out.
As such, they’re specifically targeting them and their families to ensure silence.
Fox News quoted a Middle East expert explaining how they handle these situations.
“The regime has a fixation on celebrities and their families,” Lisa Daftari, a Middle East expert and editor-in-chief of the Foreign Desk, told Fox News Digital. “They are targeting them in the most severe ways in order to make an example of them.”
Protecting their interests clearly outweighs any concerns about losing public support for going after popular figures.
With protests continuing, who knows how much more desperate the Iranian government might get going forward.