Barred from travel by husband, Iran ski coach works remotely

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Iran's Forough Abbasi is interviewed in the finish area after the first run of a women's giant slalom, at the alpine ski World Championships, in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Dampf)

CORTINA D'AMPEZZO – CORTINA D'When the husband of Iran’s Alpine ski team coach took advantage of a local law and barred his wife from leaving the country, Samira Zargari picked up her phone and continued coaching remotely.

Zargari called her four racers three times Thursday while they competed in the women’s giant slalom at the world championships in Italy — before the race, between runs and after the event was finished.

“Always I (am) proud of all Iranian girls,” Zargari said in a text message exchange with The Associated Press. “I love them.”

The 37-year-old Zargari said that her husband is now in a relationship with her best friend and that he requested she consent to a divorce.

“I didn’t and he blocked me,” Zargari said, adding that her husband is “always laughing (at) my job and my team.”

The couple was together for five years, said Zargari, who was writing from the Shemshak ski resort. She said her husband was born in the United States and is a citizen of both the U.S. and Iran.

Under Iranian law, husbands can stop their wives from traveling outside of the country.

Zargari said she wanted to launch a “campaign” to change the law.