Iranian Athletes for Freedom Initiative (IAF)
The Baskerville Institute’s Iranian Athletes for Freedom Initiative (IAF) supports Iranian athletes who have been persecuted by the government of Iran due to their active political stances. IAF’s mission is to support Iranian athletes who have sacrificed their pursuit of medals and even their personal wellbeing in order to serve in the fight against dictatorship, violence, discrimination, and the suppression of free speech and personal freedoms. Since mid-September of 2022, a protest movement has swept the country. During these protests, Iranian athletes, coaches, and trainers have not remained silent. Former and current athletes and coaches have defended the right of the Iranian people to be heard, regardless of what sport they are involved in or how far they have progressed in it; whether it be basketball, mountain climbing, table tennis, wrestling, or soccer, these athletes have bravely expressed their positions and withdrawn from their federations, sacrificing a lifetime of training and preparation. These courageous Iranian athletes deserve our support.
- Inform the governing bodies of international sports organizations about these athletes in order to seek their support;
- Connect these athletes with sport federations and athletes around the world to strengthen and amplify their voices;
- Provide funding where appropriate to support Iranian athletes who have been denied funding for their training by their Iranian federations and sponsors, in accordance with regulations of the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC);
- Develop a website to track the condition of Iranian athletes and the impact of the protest movement in Iran on Iranian sport federations;
- Inform media outlets, journalists, organizations interested in sports, as well as the general public, about how Iranian sports stars are supporting young Iranians’ aspirations for a better future for their country.
As Nelson Mandela said, “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair.“
Please make a tax-deductible donation to the Baskerville Institute’s Athletes for Freedom Initiative and invest in Iranian athletes who promote freedom and change in Iran, helping to make their dreams of becoming champions of their nation come true.