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Iranian soccer official resigns over email to Israel

A high-ranking official of the Iranian Football Federation (IFF) has been compelled to resign after a Happy New Year greeting was accidentally sent to the Israel Football Association.

The director of the IFF Foreign Relations Department, Mohammad-Mansour Azimzadeh, stepped down after the message, apparently sent on his behalf, reached Israeli officials — a mistake that should have never taken place.

In a statement quoted by the Fars news agency on Saturday, the Iranian Football Federation has said that messages of congratulations are sent each year to all members of FIFA except the Zionist regime, which is why it was removed from the list of addresses for New Year messages.

The statement added that a FIFA employee named Amir Navan, an Israeli of Iranian origin, forwarded the Iranian greeting message to the Israel Football Association. Following the incident, Azimzadeh submitted his resignation.

Iranian Football Federation President Ali Kafashian expressed deep remorse over the incident.

Iran severed all diplomatic and commercial ties with Israel after the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Tehran does not recognize Israel as a country and refers to it as the Zionist regime and calls the land the occupied Palestinian territories.

Due to Iran’s development of nuclear technology, tensions have risen between Israel and the Islamic Republic of Iran. Israel, along with the United States and its European allies — Britain, France, and Germany — accuse Iran of covertly seeking to produce nuclear weapons, an allegation that Tehran vehemently denies.

The Islamic Republic of Iran insists its nuclear activities are only conducted for civilian applications of the technology and generating electricity in order to meet its soaring energy demands.

In addition, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors have conducted numerous inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities and have never found evidence that Iran’s civilian nuclear program has been diverted to weapons production.

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