Spanish man traveling to World Cup by foot reported missing in Iran

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A Spanish man who was recording his aggressive excursion by foot from Madrid to Doha for the 2022 FIFA World Cup has not been heard from since crossing into Iran three weeks prior, his family said Monday, blending fears about his destiny in a nation shook by mass distress.

The accomplished traveler, previous soldier and intense soccer fan, 41-year-old Santiago Sánchez, was most recently seen in Iraq in the wake of climbing through 15 nations and broadly sharing his excursion on a famous Instagram account throughout the course of recent months. However, his abundant posts halted abruptly on Oct. 1, the day he entered Iran from the country’s unstable northwestern boundary.

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Sánchez’s family says his day to day WhatsApp refreshes halted that day also. Weeks after the fact, they dread absolutely terrible.

“We are profoundly stressed, we can’t quit crying, my significant other and I,” his mom, Celia Cogedor, told The Related Press. Sánchez’s folks have revealed him as absent to Spain’s public police and the Unfamiliar Service.

In any case, Spanish specialists say they have no data regarding his whereabouts, adding that the Spanish envoy to Tehran was taking care of the matter. Calls to the Iranian Unfamiliar Service looking for input were not quickly returned on Monday.

Sánchez’s accounted for vanishing in Iran — his last stop prior to arriving at Qatar for the World Cup — comes as dissenters ascend across the Islamic Republic in the biggest antigovernment development in more than 10 years. The exhibitions ejected on Sept. 16 over the demise of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-elderly person arrested by Iran’s ethical quality police for purportedly not sticking to the country’s severe Islamic clothing standard.

Tehran has savagely gotten serious and faulted unfamiliar foes and Kurdish gatherings in Iraq for inciting the agitation, without offering proof. The Iranian Insight Service said specialists had captured nine outsiders, generally Europeans, over their supposed connections to the fights the month before. Westerners and double nationals have progressively become pawns in Iran’s interior political battles and in strains among Tehran and Western capitals, examiners express, with basically twelve double nationals captured as of late on questioned spying charges.

Sánchez showed up in Iraqi Kurdistan in late September, in the wake of journeying huge number of kilometers (miles) conveying a little bag in a wheeled truck, loaded with minimal in excess of a tent, water decontamination tablets and a gas oven for his 11 months out and about. He said he needed to figure out how others lived by living among them prior to arriving at Qatar, the primary World Cup have country in the Bedouin world, in time for Spain’s most memorable match on Nov. 23.

“The possibility of the excursion is to spur and rouse others to demonstrate the way that they can go extremely far with very little,” he told the AP from Sulaymaniyah, a Kurdish city in northeastern Iraq. “You can go far strolling.”


The day preceding he vanished, Sánchez ate with an aide in Sulaymaniyah. The aide, who talked on state of namelessness because of a paranoid fear of backlashes, said he attempted to caution Sánchez about the hazardous political circumstance in Iran as they headed out in different directions.

Fights in Iran’s Kurdish locale after Amini’s demise fueled the cross country agitation actually irritating Iran. Accordingly, Iranian powers have released robot and ordnance assaults focusing on Kurdish separatists in northern Iraq. In any case, Sánchez was unflinching and certain, the aide said.

“He didn’t look anxious by any stretch of the imagination. He told me, ‘I figured out everything, sit back and relax,'” he said. They conveyed through Google Decipher, as Sánchez just communicates in Spanish.

Sánchez, the aide added, wanted to meet an Iranian family in the Kurdish town of Marivan — a scene of ongoing antigovernment fights. The family, charmed by Sánchez’s Instagram posts, had connected and proposed to have him.

After Sánchez crossed the line on Oct. 1, his messages became scanty and mysterious, the aide said. Sánchez let him know that things were “totally different” in Iran from Sulaymaniyah, the Iraqi city loaded up with parks and bistros.

“It’s been a boring tale,” his last message read. Sánchez’s folks said he had cautioned them he’d briefly lose web access in the wake of arriving at Iran.