USAV, Iran Sign Historic Agreement

By BJ Evans | Aug. 12, 2014, 11 a.m. (ET)

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Aug. 12, 2014) – USA Volleyball and the Iranian Volleyball Federation signed a historic agreement of bilateral cooperation on Monday at a dinner at the White House Restaurant in Anaheim.

The agreement, signed by USA Volleyball CEO Dr. Doug Beal and Dr. Mohammadreza Davarzani, President of the I.R. Iran Volleyball Federation, calls for the countries to work together to strengthen their standards of volleyball at all levels.

Doug Beal and Mohammadreza Davarzani
  Doug Beal, left, and Mohammadreza Davarzani sign the agreement.

“We are excited to have the Iranian Men’s Volleyball Team as our guests in the United States,” Dr. Beal said. “This agreement formalizes the already strong relationship between our two federations and lays a foundation for us to build on.

“This exchange promotes sport and understanding, allowing the athletes from each country to know each other both as competitors on the court, as well as establish a relationship with each other off the court. Sport is a powerful vehicle to improve understanding and mutual respect, and we are sure there will be follow up opportunities in the years ahead to further develop these exchanges in each country.”

Dr. Davarzani said: "This agreement will enhance the capacities of volleyball, technically and scientifically, in both countries, and will improve the standards of volleyball at the world level."

The Iranian Men’s National Volleyball Team is competing in the United States for the first time in more than 35 years as both teams prepare for the 2014 FIVB World Championship on Aug. 30-Sept. 21 in Poland.

The United States and Iran are playing four exhibition matches this week. The first one on Saturday drew more than 5,000 spectators to the Galen Center at the University of Southern California as the U.S. Men emerged victorious.

The next three matches will be played Wednesday (Aug. 13) at the Anaheim Convention Center, Friday (Aug. 15) at Viejas Arena at San Diego State University and Saturday (Aug. 16) at the Bren Center at UC Irvine.

Anaheim is home to the USA Volleyball Indoor National Teams Program.