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In response, people in Idan's home country of Iraq began issuing threats against the beauty queen and her family, Gandelsman told Israeli television.

Gadnelsman told Israeli TV that people had made threats against Idan and her family, even going as far as saying they would kill her.

Currently, Iraq and Israel do not hold any official diplomatic relations.

The 27-year-old added the photo "does not signal support for the government of Israel and does not mean I agree or accept its policies in the Arab homeland".

Gandelsman also said her friend doesn't regret her decision to post the image on social media, which she's yet to pull down.

Gandelsman said that Idan shared the photo so that people can understand that it is possible to live together without wars and bloodshed. "I'm not afraid", she said. The beauty queen, who already resided in the United States, confirmed to The Independent that her family has since left Iraq, fearing for their safety.

While Idan has not publicly posted about these threats on Facebook or Instagram, she did follow up the selfie with Gandelsman with an explanatory message.

On Instagram, Idan defended her choice to befriend and be photographed with Miss Israel.

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Nearly a month ago, Sarah Idan was in the Miss Universe pageant as a contestant representing Iraq for the first time in 45 years.

After the selfie incident, Idan told CNN she was forced to wear a more modest swimsuit in the nationally televised competition and said the Miss Universe organization wiped her bikini photos from the web.

But the government of Iraq, she says, has offered no support.

However, Samah al-Meshhadani believed that Miss Iraq had "made good use of this story".

As for the Miss Iraq Organization, it claims it didn't threaten Idan.

But that quickly changed after she bumped into Miss Israel Adar Gandlesman.

"I received many criticisms because of a photo taken of me as the beauty queen of Iraq with the beauty queen of Israel. I'm just happy and honored that I had this opportunity", she said in a Miss Universe video. "And when they're this quiet, you don't know what waits for you at home". After the photo went viral, Idan's family has been now forced to flee their country.


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