Mostafa Rajaei, right, has been banned for life by the IRIWF ©Polmasters/YouTube

The Iran Weightlifting Federation (IRIWF) has banned Mostafa Rajaei for life after he shook the hand of an Israeli athlete at the sport's World Masters Championships in Krakόw.

Rajaei finished second in his category and stood on the podium with an Iranian flag wrapped around him but greeted Israel's Maksim Svirsky who finished third.

The pair were photographed shaking hands and speaking to each other which quickly drew anger from the IRIWF and the country's Government, which forbids its citizens from direct competition with Israelis.

The IRIWF described Rajaei's actions as an "unforgivable" transgression.

Mostafa Rajaei, left, is forbidden from entering
Mostafa Rajaei, left, is forbidden from entering "all sports facilities" for the rest of his life ©Polmasters/YouTube

"The positions of the federation are aligned with the positions of the holy establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran," an IRIWF statement read, adding that Rajaei has been banned from entering "all sports facilities" for the rest of his life. 

Hamid Salehinia, who led the delegation in Poland, was also sacked by the Federation which has confirmed that a committee formed to represent veteran weightlifters has also been dissolved.

"In addition to apologising to the leader of the revolution, the families of martyrs and all the people of Iran, I promise we will certainly never witness incidents like this in the weightlifting family," IRIWF President Sajad Anoushiravani said.

In an Instagram post after the event, Rajaei thanked "everyone who helped me along the way" but did not comment on either the handshake or his subsequent ban. 

Iran does not recognise Israel as a country and regularly issues statements condemning it, while Iranian athletes have long been forbidden from competing against Israelis by the Government.

The International Judo Federation suspended Iran from competing for four years in 2021 after it emerged that Saeid Mollaei was forced to withdraw from the 2019 World Championships to avoid facing an opponent from Israel.

The defending men's under-81-kilograms champion was due to meet Israel's Sagi Muki in the final but claims he was instructed to withdraw.

After the event he travelled to Germany to seek asylum.