Iran's Ahmadinejad keen to attend London Olympics

By REUTERS
May 17, 2012 19:44

 
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DUBAI - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Thursday he was keen to attend the 2012 London Olympics to support his country's athletes but that the British authorities had "problems" with hosting him, the official IRNA news agency said.

Iran said last year it might boycott the London Olympics because it believed the event's logo, which depicts the year 2012 with four jagged multi-colored figures, resembled the word Zion and was therefore "racist". Zion is a term that refers to the city of Jerusalem and Iran does not recognize Israel.

But Ahmadinejad appears to have had a dramatic change of heart, though it was unclear whether he had made an official request to attend the games.

"I would like to be among Iranian athletes in the 2012 London Olympics to support them but they (the host country) have problems with that," IRNA quoted him as saying.

Relations between Iran and Britain remain strained over Tehran's refusal to open up its nuclear program to international oversight and its failure to allay Western fears that it is seeking to develop a nuclear weapons capability.

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