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Ahmadinejad wants to attend London Olympic Games

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has expressed interest in attending the London Olympic Games this summer.
Ahmadinejad 2012 01 09Enlarge
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. (JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images)

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has expressed interest in attending the London Olympic Games this summer.

He has run into a snag according to Iranian state media who reported the British authorities are reluctant to allow him to attend.

Ahmadinejad told the official news agency IRNA, "I would like to be beside the Iranian athletes at the Olympic Games in London to support them, but (the British) have issues with my presence. The enemies do not want our athletes to win medals, but our young people shall be present at the Olympic Games and, like Arash, give new reasons to take pride in Islamic Iran."

Arash is a mythical hero of ancient Persia. According to Naharnet.com, "Arash was instructed to shoot an arrow that would determine the country's border. He exerted all his strength to shoot the arrow a great distance, but was destroyed in the process."

More from GlobalPost: Iran, IAEA begin new nuclear talks

The Washington Post reported, Britain and Iran cut ties in 2011 because of Britain's standoff with Iran over the country’s nuclear program. Britain and much of the West believed their program is in place to build a nuclear bomb. Iran denied the charge, insisting the program is for peaceful purposes only.

Britain was one of the first European countries to adopt sanctions against the Iranian Central Bank, the AFP reported, to put pressure on the Islamic republic for its disputed nuclear program.

In 2011, Iran had threatened to pull out of the Olympic games all together, According to the Washington Post, Iran objected to the logo for the 2012 Olympics.
They believed it was racist because the symbol vaguely resembled the word “Zion."

More from GlobalPost: Why negotiating with Iran is Israel's best strategy

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/world-at-play/ahmadinejad-wants-attend-london-olympic-games