Thursday 18 January 2018

Meet the Iranian bodybuilder known as The Persian Hercules who wants to crush Islamic State

Harriet Alexander

An Iranian bodybuilder known as The Persian Hercules has announced that he wants to take on the Islamic State, and travel to Syria to defend besieged mosques.

Sajad Gharibi, a 24-year-old weightlifter, has become a social media star owing to his startling physique. He appears to revel in the attention drawn by his bulging 23-stone frame, showing off news clippings and celebrity mentions to his 10,000 Instagram followers.

Jamie Foxx, the Oscar-winning actor, commented: “The guy doesn’t even need CGI… #RealLifeHulk” – remarks which seemed to delight Mr Gharibi, who reposted them to his fans.

His posts, mainly in Persian, detail how he wants to volunteer with Iranian forces battling Isil, and guard Shia mosques being destroyed by the Sunni terrorists, according to remarks translated by the BBC.

But he also shows off a softer side.

In one image he poses, bizarrely, with a can of Fanta. In another he shows off his breakfast - eggs and tea.

On July 4 he sent his best wishes to Americans celebrating Independence Day.

And he also appeared to have been disappointed by a friend or loved one.

“Remember how I told you if you’re humble and love people, they’ll crush you?” he said. “That’s me right now.”

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