Boxing: Iranian female fighter cancels return home after arrest warrant issued
By Julien Pretot PARIS (Reuters) - The first Iranian woman to contest an official boxing bout has cancelled plans to return home after an arrest warrant was issued for her in Tehran, her representative said on Wednesday as Iranian authorities issued a denial.
By Julien Pretot
PARIS (Reuters) - The first Iranian woman to contest an official boxing bout has cancelled plans to return home after an arrest warrant was issued for her in Tehran, her representative said on Wednesday as Iranian authorities issued a denial.
Sadaf Khadem beat a French boxer, Anne Chauvin, in the bout, which took place in western France on Saturday.
Her representative told Reuters that authorities had issued arrest warrants against her and fight organiser Mahyar Monshipour.
Monshipour, an Iranian-born former boxing world champion who is now a French citizen, set up the bout after Iran opened the door to allowing women to box.
Hossein Soori, the head of Iran's boxing federation, denied Khadem would be arrested, attributing the information to "media linked to Saudi Arabia".
"Mrs Khadem is not a member of (Iran’s) organised athletes for boxing, and from the boxing federation’s perspective all her activities are personal," he was quoted as saying by the semi-official ISNA news agency.
Iranian women's participation in sports events is heavily restricted, though authorities are beginning to give ground in some areas after years of campaigning by pressure groups.
The federation now allows women to register to box, on condition that they be coached by a woman and wear the Islamic hijab while competing. To date, no bouts between female fighters have taken place in Iran.
Monshipour was planning to travel back to Iran with Khadem this week.
France's foreign ministry could not immediately comment on the case and neither could Khadem nor Monshipour.
Franco-Iranian relations are in a tense phase after comments by France's ambassador to the United States last week on Iran’s nuclear programme sparked an angry reaction from Tehran.
(Reporting by Julien Pretot; additional reporting by John Irish in Paris and Bozorgmehr Sharafedin in London; writing by John Stonestreet; Editing by Toby Chopra and Toby Davis)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.