A soccer pitch in the Iranian city of Ahvaz, home to Iran's Arab minority, has emerged as a flashpoint of anti-government protest at a time of rising Arab-Iranian tensions over the status of Shiite Muslim minorities in the Arab world and the crisis in Yemen.
The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) has warned Iran that it would be stripped of its right to host the 2015 Under-19 men's world volleyball championship if it bans women from attending matches.
The Iranian team's performance so far with its 0:0 draw against Nigeria in its first World Cup match in which it was not defeated in its first tournament game as well as the encounter with Argentina, has spared Mr. Rouhani and his government being blamed for another failure.
Some in the U.S. concluded that at long last, Tehran desires a thaw in its relations with Washington and a normalization. I remain skeptical, hoping they are correct, but unwilling to make that leap for a number of reasons.
The power of hope in Iran cannot be overstated and the electing of Rouhani is a symbol of both the progress that has been made and the progress that is still to come.
Rouhani's landslide victory, his endorsement by reformist leaders barred from running, and the high voter turnout, all signaled the depth of discontent and desire for change among the majority of voters.
Regardless of whom I spoke to, the past four years have been some of the most difficult that Iranians have faced in the past century. Iranians crave democracy, human rights and more now than ever desire an open dialogue with the international community.
With three days left in the run-up to Iran' presidential election, a crucial victory on Tuesday in Iran's 2014 World Cup qualifier could bring thousands into the streets in celebrations that have in the past turned into anti-government protests.
The Iranian government wants to prevent the simmering opposition from surfacing and using a Rafsanjani candidacy as a cover to reignite 2009's protest movement.
With tension building on both shores of the Gulf, the stakes are high for regional governments as well as the international community as they could threaten shipping in the Straits of Hormuz as well as create domestic turmoil in both the Gulf states and Iran.