World Cup in Qatar: Football as political leverage for Iran

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar has become a focal point for geopolitics. Iran's team refused to sing their national anthem before their first match, in a gesture of support for protesters. Some Iranian visitors also took the opportunity to support the anti-government protests back home with signs and chants outside the stadium in Doha. Meanwhile, Tehran is blaming protests for the stinging defeat of its team against England. FRANCE 24's Jean-Emile Jammine tells us more.

Also in Iran, state media says the country's nuclear programme has begun enriching uranium to 60 percent purity at its underground Fordo facility, some 100 kilometres south of Tehran. The procedure, using advanced centrifuges, brings the Islamic Republic one step away from achieving weapons-grade fissile material. Iran insists its nuclear ambitions are for peaceful civilian energy production. Yet the latest announcement comes amid a deepening dispute with the UN's nuclear watchdog.

Plus, Turkey is threatening a ground invasion into neighbouring Syria after hitting Kurdish militant groups there with air strikes, in what Ankara calls retaliation for a recent bombing in Istanbul. We take a closer look.


Read more on FRANCE 24 English

Read also:
‘Iran's government has committed unpardonable acts,’ says Shirin Ebadi
England begin on high as Iran refuse to sing anthem
England hammer Iran in strong start to World Cup