Trailblazing female Iranian boxer cancels plans to return home after authorities issue arrest warrant
Sadaf Khadem, who on Saturday became the first Iranian woman to contest an official boxing bout, has cancelled her return to Tehran after an arrest warrant was issued for her there, her representative said yesterday.
An arrest warrant was also issued against Mahyar Monshipour, the Iranian-born former boxing world champion who set up the bout in western France and was planning to travel back to Iran with Ms Khadem, the representative said.
Mr Monshipour is a French citizen.
On Saturday, Ms Khadem beat local boxer Anne Chauvin in an amateur bout.
The 24-year-old was returning to Mr Monshipour's home town of Poitiers.
Franco-Iranian relations are in a tense phase after comments by France's ambassador to the United States last week on Iran's nuclear programme sparked anger from Tehran.
Iran's Boxing Federation said it organised no bouts for women and would bear no responsibility for individual competitors.
Iranian women should wear the Islamic hijab while competing in the country and abroad, it added.
A spokesman from Iran's embassy in Paris said he had received a request to confirm there was an arrest warrant out and to comment on Ms Khadem's and her coach's decision not to return to Iran. He gave no other comment.