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Plane carrying family of Iranian soccer player diverted by authorities

Legendary Iranian soccer player Ali Daei says a flight carrying his wife and daughter was diverted en route to meet him in Qatar. File Photo by UPI Photo/Mohammad Kheirkhah
1 of 2 | Legendary Iranian soccer player Ali Daei says a flight carrying his wife and daughter was diverted en route to meet him in Qatar. File Photo by UPI Photo/Mohammad Kheirkhah | License Photo

Dec. 27 (UPI) -- Iranian soccer player Ali Daei said an international flight was diverted to prevent his wife and daughter from joining him on vacation in Dubai.

Daei said the flight was forced to land on an Iranian island in the Gulf where his family was removed, adding that no reason was given and his wife and daughter were returning to Tehran.

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"Had they been banned (from leaving), the passport police system should have shown it. No one has given me an answer about this," he said.

The Iranian state news agency IRNA reported in a since retracted article that the aircraft carrying Dali's wife, Mona Farrokhazari, landed at Kish Island and that "Ali Dani's wife and daughter got off the plane" and that "they hadn't informed relevant authorities of their decision to leave despite being ordered to do so."

The news agency said Farrokhazari had "association with the groups against the Islamic revolution."

Daei, the former captain of Iran's national soccer team, voiced support for Iranian protestors who took to the streets following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amani in police custody in September. Daei was seen taking part in a team draw at the World Cup in Qatar.

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The Iranian judiciary shut down Daei's jewelry shop and restaurant in Tehran earlier this month.

The human rights organization Iran Human Rights says at least 448 people were killed by security services cracking down on the protests as of Nov. 29.

The Iranian government has banned several high-profile citizens from traveling because of their support for the protests.

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