A chance reading of The New Yorker gave pause when I (Evander) noted the growing popularity of baseball in Iran. Baseball has been an organized activity there since 1993.
Reporter Jason Rezaian, a dual citizen of Iran working for the Washington Post, is jailed (as is his wife, Yeganeh Salehi) and now being tried in an Iranian court—tho not for his coverage of baseball. In fact, he writes that love of the game has suffered due to Western economic sanctions (“gloves for lefthanders are scarce”).
The Baseball and Softball Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran (Persian: انجمن بیس بال و سافت بال جمهوری اسلامی ایران) is the governing body for baseball and softball over there. It was founded in 1993 (as noted) as a baseball, softball, cricket, and rugby union federation, splitting from the rugby-and-cricket association in 2010.
Yu Darvish is half-Iranian.