Iran said it will attend the 2012 Olympics in London despite its protest of the Games’ logo, which it says spells the word Zion.
Bahram Afsharzadeh, the secretary general of Iran’s National Olympic Committee, on Sunday told Iran’s Press-TV that “we will participate and play gloriously in the London games.”
His comments came after British Prime Minister David Cameron told the British community weekly Jewish News over the weekend that Iran is “completely paranoid” over the logo.
“If the Iranians don’t want to come, don’t come; we won’t miss you,” he said. “It would be a crazy reason for not coming.”
Cameron added that the athletes who refuse to compete against Israeli athletes would not be welcome.
The emblem, which features jagged shapes representing the numbers 2012, has been criticized for its design, which organizers say is modern and intended to catch the attention of the younger generation.
Last month, Mohammad Aliabadi, the head of Iran’s National Olympic Committee, accused the British Olympic organizers of “racism” in a letter to International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge, the Iranian ILNA news agency reported, according to news agencies.
“The use of the word Zion by the designer of Olympics logo in the emblem of the Olympics Games 2012 is a very revolting act,” Aliabadi wrote, warning that if it was not changed it could “affect the participation of several countries, especially like Iran, which insists on following principles and values.”
The International Olympic Committee rejected the complaint.