World Cup in Qatar: Football as political leverage for Iran

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar has become a focal point for geopolitics. Iran’s team refused to sing its national anthem before its first match, in a gesture of support for protesters. Some Iranian visitors also took the opportunity to support the protests against the government back home with signs and chants outside the stadium in Doha. Meanwhile, Tehran blames the protests for the team’s stinging defeat against England. Axadle’s Jean-Emile Jammine tells more.

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Also in Iran, state media say the country’s nuclear program has begun enriching uranium to 60 percent purity at its underground Fordo facility, about 100 kilometers south of Tehran. The process, using advanced centrifuges, takes the Islamic Republic one step away from achieving weapons-grade fissile material. Iran insists its nuclear ambitions are for peaceful civilian energy production. Still, the latest announcement comes amid a deepening dispute with the UN’s nuclear watchdog.

In addition, Turkey is threatening a ground invasion of neighboring Syria after hitting Kurdish militant groups there with airstrikes, in what Ankara says is retaliation for a recent bombing in Istanbul. We take a closer look.

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