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August 20 2014
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Iran volleyball team loses to U.S. in four-match series

- Iran volleyball team lost its last match against the U.S. in the USAV Cup four-match series on Sunday. The U.S. beat Iran in straight sets (25-18, 25-22, 25-19) before a crowd of 3,610 at the Bren Center at UC Irvine. - 8/18/14

Tehran is a halfpipe: Entrepreneur makes skateboards in Iranian basement

- M.J. Rahimi has mastered some of the world's most popular skateboarding tricks. A music lover's haven Iran's hoteliers cash in on tourism boom Turkish Airlines soaring Qatar counts cost of the 2022 World Cup But the one skill that's fast making Rahimi a recognized name is crafting skateboards inside his basement in the Iranian capital of Tehran. -CNN - 8/18/14

Volleyball: Iran Defeats USA in 3rd Friendly Match

- Iran's volleyball team defeated USA's team 3-2 (24-26, 26-24, 25-27, 25-20, 15-9) at Viejas Arena at San Diego State in the third friendly match in the USA Volleyball Cup. The four-match exhibition series concludes Saturday night at UC Irvine. - 8/16/14

Iran volleyball team defeated by US in second friendly match

- Iran national volleyball team lost its second friendly match against US 3-0 (25-23, 25-23 and 25-21) on Thursday in Los Angeles, California. The Iranian team is in the United States for four friendly matches with the countryˈs national team which recently ranked first in the FIVB World League. - 8/15/14

Iran and the U.S. sign MOU to boost Volleyball standards

- Iran's Volleyball Federation President, Mohammad Reza Davarzani and his U.S counterpart signed memorandum of understanding in Los Angeles on Monday in order to expand cooperations. Iran's men national volleyball team is in California for a four-game tour against the U.S. - 8/13/14

Photos: Iran-USA volleyball match at USC in Los Angeles

- Olympian Matt Anderson had 23 points and the U.S. men's national team beat Iran 27-25, 25-21, 27-29, 25-17 in the opening match of the USA Volleyball Cup at USC's Galen Center on Saturday night. The series of exhibitions between the two teams are preparation for the upcoming FIVB World Championship later this month in Poland. - 8/11/14

Irish star surfer Easkey Britton sets up Iran's first surf club

- Not content with her lengthy string of competitive surfing accolades, she became the first woman to surf in Iran (while finishing her PhD. in Environment and Society), and founded 'Waves of Freedom', a project teaching women in an isolated and impoverished region of Iran to surf. This month the 28-year-old is going back to Iran to establish the country's first surf club that will be open to both girls and boys. -Liz Dunphy, Irish Examiner - 8/8/14

Iranian striker Reza Ghoochannejhad seals shock move to Al Kuwait football team

- Iran international striker Reza Goochannejhad has signed a contract to join Al Kuwait from Charlton Athletic for an undisclosed fee on Wednesday. He flew out to Cairo where the Kuwaiti team holding a training camp to join rest of the players. - 8/7/14

Iran volleyball team heading to U.S.

- Iran volleyball team traveled to Los Angeles, California, on early Wednesday to play four friendlies against the U.S. outfit. The Iranian team lost to the U.S. 3-0 in the 2014 FIVB World League, which was held in Florence, Italy in July. - 8/6/14

I'm Very Happy To Come Back Home, Nekounam Says After Joining Osasuna Football Team

- Iranian national team captain Javad Nekounam has signed a two-year contract with second division side Osasuna, returning to the Spanish club after a two-year spell in the Middle East. - 8/6/14

Iran vs. USA Men's Volleyball Coming to Southern California

- In less than a week, the U.S. Men's National Volleyball Team will host Iran for four matches at sites around Southern California. The matches will help both teams prepare for the 2014 FIVB Men's World Championship on Aug. 30-Sept. 21 in Poland. - 8/4/14

Dejagah rejects Bundesliga and Premier League offers to join Al Arabi

- Iranian international midfielder Ashkan Dejagah, who has never played outside of Europe, has rejected Premier League and Bundesliga offers to sign a lucrative contract with the Qatari side Al Arabi. Dejagah's agent, Reza Fazeli, believes that Ashkan made the right decision and the fans should respect his choice. - 8/2/14

Polo in Iran: Breaking barriers, building diplomacy

- When the doorbell rang at our California winter home, it was George Dill, telling me in his trademark, gruff voice, "Gery, I've got some Iranian visitors here. I want 'em to meet you." -Gery and Suzanne Warner, Common Ground - 8/1/14

Iran takes 4th spot at world fustal championship

- The 14th edition of World University Championship started in the Spanish city of Antequera on July 13, and ended on July 20.The Iranian national men's futsal team has finished fourth place at the 14th edition of World University Championship in Spain, being beaten by Belarus in a penalty shootout. - 7/22/14

Iranian Volleyballers Finish 4th In World League

- Iran's volleyball team is overpowered by Italy in FIVB Volleyball World League 2014 semifinals, finishing fourth in the tournament notwithstanding its decent performance. The two sides went head to head at the Nelson Mandela Forum in Florence on Sunday, with Italy managing to get past Iran in straight sets (25-22, 25-18, and 25-22). - 7/21/14

Iranian football player Ali Karimi announces his retirement

- Former Iran international and Persepolis star Ali Karimi has decided to hang up his boots. The 35-year-old made the announcement in a letter published on his Instagram account on Sunday. Karimi, who was known for his amazing dribbling skills, was arguably one of Iran's all-time best players. He was often referred to as the Asian Maradona and was regarded as one of Asia's greatest footballers. - 7/21/14

Volleyball: Iran defeated by USA 3-0 in FIVB World League semifinals

- Iran's volleyball team has failed to reach the FIVB World League's final match after being defeated by the American team in three straight sets. On Saturday, Iran lost its first ever semifinal match at a world tournament to the US team 3-0 (25-18, 25-22, 25-16). - 7/20/14

Iran basketball team wins FIBA Asia Cup

- Iran's national basketball team has defeated Chinese Taipei to win the final match of the 2014 FIBA Asia Cup held at Wuhan, China. Iranian basketball players hammered the Chinese Taipei 89-79 in the match held at the Wuhan Gymnasium on Saturday, claiming their second Asian Cup. - 7/20/14

Volleyball: Iran defeats Brazil at FIVB World League, reaches semifinals

- Iran's volleyball team has advanced to the semifinals of the 2014 FIVB World League after beating nine-time world champion Brazil. The Iranian team defeated Brazil 3-1 (25-22, 25-19, 23-25, 28-26) in a match in the Italian city of Florence on Friday, progressing to the semifinals of the event for the first time in its history. - 7/19/14

Carlos Queiroz agrees new contract to stay at Iran until 2018

- The Iranian Football Federation (IFF) has agreed to extend Carlos Queiroz's contract until the end of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. In a session held at the Iran Football Federation headquarters on Friday, two parties agreed to finalize the contract on August 1. - 7/19/14

Volleyball: Russia and Italy record wins against Iran and USA as World League Finals begin

- Russia beat Iran 3-2 (18-25, 25-18, 25-21, 35-37, 15-8), but it was far from comfortable for the title holders as Iran battled right to the end of the match. In front of a huge number of Iran supporters, the World League finals debutants won a thrilling fourth set to take the match into a decider. - 7/17/14

Iran beats Jordan, marches into FIBA Asia Cup semifinals

- Iran men's national basketball team has advanced to the semifinals of the fifth edition of Federation Internationale de Basketball (FIBA) Asia Cup in China after registering a convincing victory over Jordan. - 7/17/14

Baseball in Iran is more like the Bad News Bears than the Major Leagues

- Closer to the Bad News Bears than the Major Leagues, organized baseball has been played here since 1991. Very few Iranians beyond the estimated 500 players, coaches and umpires who belong to the national association, however, have even heard of the game. -Jason Rezaian, Washington Post - 7/17/14

Iran's washing up liquid protest

- A striking piece of graffiti in the heart of Iran's capital Tehran has been widely shared on social media. It shows a woman holding up a "World Cup" in the shape of a washing up liquid bottle. What does it mean and why has it struck a chord? -BBC - 7/15/14

Column: Religion, Sports Exchanges Bring Iranians and Americans Closer

- While U.S. and Iranian negotiators labor to reach a long-term nuclear agreement, other Americans and Iranians are stepping up contacts in a new wave of people-to-people diplomacy. -Barbara Slavin, VOA - 7/14/14

American athletes get star treatment in Iran

- "People look at me like I have two heads," said James Ravannack, describing the reaction he gets when he explains to people what a fabulous time he had in Iran. -Barbara Slavin, Al-Monitor - 7/11/14

Argentina Beats Netherlands, Advances to World Cup Championship

- Argentina positioned itself to win its first World Cup in nearly 30 years, beating the Netherlands in a penalty shootout, 4-2, after a scoreless draw. The result Wednesday at rainy Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo means Argentina plays Germany in Sunday's championship game at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. - 7/10/14

Germany Crushes Brazil 7-1 in World Cup Semifinal

- Germany's goal total was the most ever by one team in a World Cup semifinal, while Brazil matched its worst-ever margin of defeat and allowed seven goals for the first time in 80 years. Brazil also lost its first official competitive match at home since 1975. -Mike Richman, VOA - 7/9/14

Football: Tehran's Esteghlal signs Brazilian goalkeeper da Silv

- Tehran's Esteghlal football club has signed Brazilian goalkeeper Alberto Rafael da Silva on a two-year contract. The 30-year-old goalkeeper is really happy to sign for Iranian football giant. - 7/8/14

Photos: A Low Budget "World Cup"

- These days we are all caught in the excitement of the World Cup and all the magnificence surrounding the games. However, there are also many "little cups" happening all over the world that don't get much attention. There are no billion dollar budgets; no fancy stadiums or green grasses; no nice balls, jerseys and shoes. These games are rather played on rough dirt fields, most often with no shoes and with flat balls. Yet the players and their spectators seem to be happy just the same. - 7/7/14

Volleyball World League: Poland Beat Iran 3-0

- Poland overpowered Iran 3-0 to register a second win against the Asian champions in their last 2014 FIVB Men's Volleyball World League match in Gdansk on Saturday to collect half of the points possible from their four confrontations against Iran after they lost their first two matches in Tehran last week. - 7/6/14

Coach Carlos Queiroz shows green light to Iran

- Iran coach Carlos Queiroz showed green light to Iran's Football Federation (IFF) to renew his contract with the Team Melli. Former Real Madrid coach talked to the "2014" TV show on Thursday and admitted that he has received a written offer from IFF to extend his contract. - 7/5/14

Iran volleyball team to play U.S. in Los Angeles

- Head of Iran Volleyball Federation Mohammad Reza Davarzani said that the Iranian team will play four friendlies against the U.S. in Los Angeles in preparation for the 2014 Volleyball World Championship. - 7/2/14

Sport, in the name of Iranian-US diplomacy

- Creative solutions are necessary to sustain more peaceful relations between Iran and America. Your Middle East's contributor Sam Khanlari offers you some real insight into what role sport can play. -Sam Khanlari, -Your Middle East - 7/1/14

Iran reaches first FIVB Volleyball World League final

- Iran's national volleyball team has outplayed Poland in consecutive sets at the 2014 Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) World League to book a berth in the tournament's Final Six for the first time in its volleyball history. - 6/30/14

Activists urge volleyball group to support Iran's female fans

- More than 130 women's rights activists have written an open letter to the head of the International Federation of Volleyball demanding support for the right of women to watch volleyball matches in stadiums. - 6/30/14

Carlos Queiroz in talks over Iran contract extensio

- Head of the Iran Football Federation Ali Kafashian met Carlos Queiroz on Sunday over his contract extension as head coach of Iran. "If they want me to continue as Iran coach they have to make written request." Queiroz told reporters after his meeting with Kafashian. - 6/30/14

Photos: Iranian football team greeted by supporters, officials

- Iran's national football team arrived in Tehran on Saturday morning to an unexpected welcome from fans and government officials. Iranian media report that the players seemed to have been caught by surprise by the warm welcome. Crowds of people had reportedly arrived at the airport to welcome the players, causing heavy traffic in the vicinity. - 6/29/14

Volleyball: Iran overpower Poland 3-1 in World League

- Iranian volleyball players have trounced powerhouse Poland 3-1 in the 2014 Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) World League, a huge step towards the Final Six of the tourney. Host Iran defeated Poland 3-1 (23-25, 25-16, 25-11, 25-19) in a Pool A clash at the sold-out Azadi Sports Complex in Tehran on Friday. - 6/28/14

German brewer apologizes for using Iranian flag

- The Iranian embassy in Germany has called on German beer company Gaffel to stop the production and distribution of beer bottles labeled with the Iranian flag. Gaffel's latest marketing plan includes producing beer bottles with flags of the countries participating in the FIFA World Cup. - 6/28/14

Column: 'Valiant' in Soccer, Can Iran Achieve Diplomatic Goals?

- With its 1-3 loss to Bosnia on Wednesday, Iran is out of the 2014 World Cup. But its gritty play won rare respect from an international community more accustomed to associating Iran with terrorism and a suspected quest for nuclear weapons. -Barbara Slavin, VOA - 6/27/14

Bosnia ends Iran's World Cup dream

- Already eliminated Bosnia and Herzegovina defeated Iran 3-1 in a World Cup Group F match at the Arena Fonte Nova on Wednesday. Argentina advanced to the last 16 as the winner of Group F with nine points. Nigeria also booked a birth in the next stage with four points. Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iran finished in third and fourth places with three points and one point respectively. - 6/26/14

Carlos Queiroz given green light by Iranian Ministry of Sports

- Iran's minister of sports and youth, Mahmoud Goudarzi, said that they are ready to help the Iranian Football Federation (IFF) to extend Carlos Queiroz's contract. Queiroz has recently revealed that the IFF had offered him the chance to stay, but the former Portugal coach believes financial restrictions mean that he cannot take Iran any further. - 6/26/14

At a bar in Tel Aviv, Israelis root for Iran

- The last great era of Israeli-Iranian friendship might have ended with the fall of the ancient Persian empire, but from the mood at one of Wednesday night's World Cup watch parties, you wouldn't have known it had been more than 2,000 years since the two peoples last hung out. -Michael Mitchell, Haaretz - 6/26/14

I wanted to renew my contract with Iran, Queiroz says

- Iran football coach Carlos Queiroz said that he wanted to renew his contract but there was no intention to keep him. Iran national team left Sao Paulo for Salvador on Monday to prepare for the final group stage match against Bosnia & Herzegovina. - 6/25/14

Iran's Ashkan Dejagah: I will score against Bosnia

- Iran attacking midfielder Ashkan Dejagah promised he will score against Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 2014 FIFA World Cup group stage on Wednesday. Dejagah, who had a great performance in Iran's 1-0 defeat against Argentina, also believes that Iran can qualify for the Last 16. - 6/25/14

Sports, Shorts A Recipe For Rape In Iran

- Women attempting to attend World League volleyball matches being held this month in Tehran learned from the national police chief that their presence "was not in the public interest," while a female lawmaker argued that women at sporting events was a source of "disrespect and rape in society." -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 6/25/14

Iran lodges complaint to FIFA over Serbian referee

- The Iranian Football Federation (IFF) has submitted a complaint to FIFA against Serbian referee Milorad Mazic, for what they deem to be poor officiating during their 1-0 defeat by Argentina. The Iranian team lost to Argentina 1-0 in Group F of the 2014 FIFA World Cup on Saturday. - 6/24/14

Carlos Queiroz, the master of defence, has to press forward with Iran

- Iran will go through to the last 16 for the first time in their history if they beat Bosnia-Herzegovina and Nigeria lose to Argentina in Group F's final games. From Iran's point of view, there are two questions: what sort of state will Bosnia be in after their abject defeat by Nigeria, and will their own side has the wherewithal to take the game to an opponent if they need to. "My major concern is to keep players focused," said Queiroz. "And they'll need to convert those chances." -Jonathan Wilson, Guardian - 6/24/14

Iran-Argentina World Cup match in the eyes of Iranian cartoonists

- Here is how Iranian cartoonists see the Iran-Argentina World Cup match which was played in Belo Horizonte, Brazil on Saturday June 21st. Iran played a great game, and the score was tied at 0-0 after 90 minutes of regular play time. Then at the 91st minute, Lionel Messi scored a goal to give Argentina a 1-0 victory. It is also widely believed that the Serbian ref Milorad Mazic did not call a penalty for Iran - 6/23/14

Iran defeats Italy in FIVB Volleyball World League

- Iran saw off Italy with a four-set (25-22, 25-19, 19-25, 25-20) victory in the FIVB Volleyball World League Pool A match in Tehran's Azadi Hall on Sunday afternoon. - 6/23/14

Iranians celebrate strong performance at World Cup

- Iranian president congratulated Iran's National Soccer team for their excellent performance at the FIFA World Cup, and reports from Iran indicate that Iranians took to the streets of Tehran to celebrate the strong performance of their team against Argentina on Saturday. - 6/22/14

Argentina's Messi, Germany's Klose Shine in World Cup

- Argentine superstar Lionel Messi and prolific German scorer Miroslav Klose rescued their teams with clutch goals in World Cup action Saturday. Messi scored during injury time to give Argentina a 1-0 win over Iran and qualify the Argentines for the coveted round of 16. Klose found the back of the net in the 71st minute for the final goal in a 2-2 draw against Ghana. - 6/22/14

Argentina's Messi, and ref, defeat Iran in World Cup

- Saturday, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, the Iranian National Football Team was less than two minutes away from a historic World Cup result when ref Milorad Mazic and Lionel Messi intervened. -Robert J. Riccio, Examiner - 6/22/14

World Cup: Messi's late goal breaks Iran's heart

- Argentina earned a hard-fought victory over Iran in Group F of the 2014 FIFA World Cup at the Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte, Brazil on Saturday. Lionel Messi scored a late goal in the first minute of added time to give Argentina a 1-0 victory and six points from its two matches. - 6/21/14

Lionel Messi not human: Iran's Coach Queiroz

- Iran coach Carlos Queiroz said that Argentina's Lionel Messi is incredible and may not be a human. Iran is scheduled to play favorite Argentina in Group F of the 2014 World Cup in Belo Horizente on June 21. - 6/21/14

Volleyball: Iran beats Italy in FIVB World League on home court

- Iran swept Italy in the fifth week of the Intercontinental Round of the FIVB Volleyball World League. On Friday, Iran beat Italy in straight sets (25-18, 25-20, 25-15) at a packed Azadi Hall in Tehran. - 6/21/14

The Politics of Participation in Iran

- Millions of Iranians will gather in the coming days to watch their country take on the world in something other than politics. Against the odds, against Argentina, and after a long, eight-year absence, Iran's participation in the World Cup is a welcome break from usual state TV programming. -Shervin Malekzadeh - 6/21/14

Iranian authorities once again bar women from stadium

- Reports from Iran indicate that on Friday June 20, police and security forces once again prevented women from entering the stadium to watch a volleyball match between Iran and Italy, and a number of them were even arrested. - 6/21/14

Iranian: President Rohani calls for answers on banning of women from stadium

- Iranian President Hassan Rohani has called on his Minister of Sports and his head of women's affairs to find out why Iranian women were barred from entering a stadium to watch the volleyball match between Iran and Brazil. - 6/18/14

World Cup: Iran's satisfaction is Nigeria's disappointment

- The first draw of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil came on Monday afternoon, in the 13th match of the tournament. While that number brought the well-organised Asians no misfortune, the same could not be said for their African opponents, who went away with less than they had hoped for. - 6/17/14

Photos: Iranians cheer for their team during World Cup match with Nigeria

- The devoted fans of the Iranian football team were actively cheering for their team before and during the World Cup match with Nigeria. Many fans had also become creative in their outfits or face decorations. Here are some interesting snapshots of the Iranian fans. - 6/17/14

President Congratulates Iran National Football Team On Twitter

- President Hassan Rouhani tweeted a congratulation message Monday night after Iran and Nigeria played out a dull 0-0 draw in their World Cup Group F clash in the Brazilian city of Curitiba. - 6/17/14

Carlos Queiroz Says Iran Have Surprise for Nigeria

- Iran coach Carlos Queiroz already has plenty of World Cup experience, and the country's national team will be hoping to make the most of it in Brazil. Iran begin their campaign on Monday against Nigeria in a Group F which also includes mighty Argentina and debutants Bosnia-Hercegovina. - 6/16/14

Brazil shares point with Iran v-ballers at world league

- Iranian national volleyball team has lost to Brazil 3-2 and earned one point in the 2014 FIVB Volleyball World League. In their second encounter at Azadi Sports Complex in Tehran on Sunday, the nine-time World League champion managed to edge past Iran (25-19, 25-16, 23-25, 23-25, 15-10) in the fourth week of the competitions. - 6/16/14

The American Soccer Coach on Iran's Bench

- Connecticut resident Dan Gaspar coaches Iran's goalkeepers, but he's more concerned about what happens on the field than the geopolitics of the sport -Bill Saporito, TIME - 6/16/14

Argentina and Iran will qualify for next stage: Beitashour

- Steven Mehrdad Beitashour said that the Iranian football team is going to book a berth in the 2014 World Cup next stage. Iran will face Nigeria in its World Cup campaign in Group F on June 16 in Curitiba and play Argentina five days later at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte. - 6/15/14

Carlos Queiroz retaining order amid chaos of Iran's World Cup buildup

- Former Manchester United coach finding added responsibility of international role brings unexpected demands -Andy Hunter, Guardian - 6/15/14

Iran v-ballers trounce Brazil 3-2

- Iranian national volleyball team has thrashed Brazil 3-2 in the 2014 FIVB Volleyball World League. Powerhouse Iran edged past Brazil (18-25, 27-25, 20-25, 25-17, 15-9) at Azadi Sports Complex in Tehran on Friday to gain its second victory against the country at the tourney. - 6/14/14

World Cup: Bay Area's Beitashour wearing jersey of Iran

- San Jose native Steven Beitashour wasn't about to let international politics squash his World Cup dream. Instead of donning the colors of his country this month in Brazil, Beitashour is wearing the white and red of Iran. -Elliott Almond, San Jose Mercury - 6/14/14

Iranian Officials To Ensure World Cup Team Behaves Amid Brazil 'Fever'

- While soccer fans around the globe are fixated on who will shine at the World Cup, at least one Iranian lawmaker has other worries on his mind: temptations that could lead the Islamic republic's players astray in host nation Brazil. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 6/13/14

World Cup Set To Begin In Brazil

- World Cup 2014 is set to kick off in Brazil, launching a month of action that will see teams representing 32 nations do battle in hopes of being crowned champion of the world's top team sporting event. - 6/12/14

Cheetah on the jersey of Iranian players in World Cup is a victory: Ebtekar

- Masoumeh Ebtekar, the head of Iran's Environmental Protection Organization, said on Monday that Asiatic cheetah designed on Iran national football team players' jerseys carries a powerful message that regardless of the FIFA World Cup results is a win in its own way. - 6/11/14

"The World Turns Around a Spinning Ball"

- At Wembley, shouts from the 1966 World Cup, which England won, still resound, and if you listen very closely you can hear groans from 1953 when England fell to the Hungarians. Montevideo's Centenario Stadium sighs with nostalgia for the glory days of Uruguayan soccer. Maracana is still crying over Brazil's 1950 World Cup defeat... -Eduardo Galeano, LobeLog - 6/9/14

Iran's volleyball team defeats Brazil at the FIVB World League

- Iran's national volleyball team has bagged its first win in the 2014 World League, defeating Brazil in straight sets in Sao Paulo. The stunning victory came after the Iranians lost a five-set match to Brazil in on Friday. - 6/7/14
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