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The City of Berkeley and Oakland Declare
Welcome Proclamation for Iran's National Soccer Team

Press Release For Immediate Release
Contact: Niloofar M. Nouri
Tel: (510) 821-9303
The Persian Center
Berkeley, California

January 7, 2000

Iran's National Soccer Team, visiting the United States for a series of friendship games will receive formal welcome proclamations from the City of Berkeley and the City of Oakland on Saturday, January 8th, 2000.

Representatives from the offices of Berkeley Mayor, Shirley Dean and Oakland Mayor, Jerry Brown will attend a Saturday Brunch at Persian Center in Berkeley, California on Saturday, January 8, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., (located at 2029 Durant Avenue in Berkeley) and will read proclamations at 12:00 p.m. Team Members and representatives from the Iranian National Team have been invited to receive this unusual and high honor.

The Iranian National Team is scheduled to play Mexico on Sunday, January 9th at the Oakland Coliseum (Oakland, California), Ecuador on Wednesday, January 12th in Los Angeles at the Coliseum, and the USA on January 16th at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

Iran and US will be starting the new Millennium with a friendly replay of the highly publicized 1998 World Cup match in which the US lost to Iran 2-1. Soccer is Iran's national pastime, and with the success of the team Internationally and in the World Cup in 1998, Iranians and Iranian-Americans, around the world (approximately 500,000 in California) have been eager to see more games between the two teams.

Mohammad Khakpour, an Iranian player plays professionally in the MSL on the New York MetroStars team and will be playing for Iran at these games. Persian Center President, Shahin Tabrizi, stated, "We are very excited about the friendly games between the two teams and are very glad to witness a great relationship developing between the people of the two countries, devoid of politics." In what many say is the first steps toward rapprochement and normalization of relations between the two countries, Iran and the US have opened limited cultural and sports contacts over the past year.

The Persian Center is a non-profit charitable organization, dedicated to providing an environment for education, cultural celebrations, and exhibitions to promote an understanding of the Persian culture and heritage, as well as peace through education and understanding.


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