- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Iranian national chess team has banned grand master Dorsa Derakhshani for not wearing a hijab during a recent competition, as well as her younger brother, Borna, for playing against an Israeli opponent.

Ms. Derakhshani, 18, competed in last month’s Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival wearing her hair down with only a pink headband, in defiance of Iranian law requiring all women to wear a headscarf in public.

On Monday, the head of the Iranian Chess Federation, Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh, announced that Ms. Derakhshani would be kicked off the national team, The Washington Post reported.

Borna, 15, was also booted from the team after agreeing to play against an opponent from Israel, a country Iran has not recognized since the 1979 Revolution.

“Unfortunately, what shouldn’t have happened has happened,” said Mr. Pahlevanzadeh, The Post reported. “Our national interests have priority over everything.”

“As a first step, these two will be denied entry to all tournaments taking place in Iran,” he said. “And, in the name of Iran, they will no longer be allowed the opportunity to be present on the national team.”

Neither sibling has commented on the development publicly, The Post reported.

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