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Iran calls 2012 London Olympics logo 'racist,' threatens boycott

Logo_300 Iran is threatening to boycott the 2012 London Olympics, claiming that the logo for the Games is racist because it resembles the word "Zion."

In comments carried by the official IRNA news agency Monday, Bahram Afsharzadeh, the secretary-general of Iran's National Olympic Committee, said he sent a letter of complaint to International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge, and he urged other other Muslim states to oppose the "racist logo."

The logo shows the numbers "2012" in jagged figures that Afsharzadeh says looks like the word "Zion," a biblical term widely recognized to refer to the city of Jerusalem.

"There is no doubt that negligence of the issue from your side may affect the presence of some countries in the games, especially Iran, which abides by commitment to the values and principles," Afsharzadeh said in the letter to Rogge.

The IOC and London organizers have both rejected Iran's complaint about the logo, which was launched in 2007.

"Our response is as follows: The London 2012 logo represents the figure 2012, nothing else," the IOC said.

-- Chuck Schilken

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

[Updated: A spelling error in one reference to Afsharzadeh's name has been corrected.]

Photo: The 2012 London Olympics and Paralympic Games logos. Credit: Alastair Grant / Associated Press

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