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Why did Iran stand silent during their national anthem?

The World Cup on Monday offered a glimpse of protest against Iran’s government when fans booed and the Iranian players stood silent during the country’s national anthem.

Why did Iran’s players stand silent during their national anthem?

For Iran, this was more than a soccer game — it was an act of defiance. The Guardian reports that not a single member of Iran’s team participated in singing their country’s national anthem, while England’s players sang their anthem out loud.

The players stood stoic with arms around each other’s shoulders. As the team stood silent, Iranian fans in the stadium booed the anthem, per the New York Post.

According to Reuters, protests have clutched Iran since the death of Mahsa Amini, a young woman arrested for not abiding by the Islamic dress code. The display at the World Cup game between Iran and England was a sign of support for the protests in Iran.

Some audience members held up signs with the saying, “Women, life and freedom,” while others chanted “Ali Karmini,” a former Iranian player who has voiced support for protests.

What is going on in Iran?

Since Amini’s death, protests have erupted for women’s rights in the country. However, since then it has grown into a movement against a government that people no longer believe can be reformed, per CNN.

About 410 people have been killed and at least 17,251 arrested for protesting in the country, according to Reuters. Regions of Iran reportedly resemble battle zones, as gunfire breaks out in protests from armed forces.

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