In 1998, Iran was already facing the United States for a diplomatic shock under high tension

NARRATIVE – The two countries, which broke diplomatic relations for more than 40 years, meet in Qatar for the World Cup. In 1998, they faced each other for the first time in France, in a high-risk match… at least on paper.

When Brazilian soccer legend Cafu placed Iran in Pool B of the World Cup draw in Qatar, the announcement did not stir the crowds. A modest country of football, Iran is never particularly scrutinized on the international scene. Except that, this year, the Islamic Republic has fallen into the group of the United States, which it will face on November 29. In addition to a certain sporting interest, since it will play its qualification in the round of 16 on this match after beating Wales, this duel symbolically has important diplomatic stakes, in a context of resurgence of tensions between the two country.

Above all, this meeting finds a particular historical echo, since the same poster was scheduled for the third day of the 1998 World Cup, which took place in France. At that time, the two countries entered into crisis for almost twenty years. The hostage taking at the American Embassy in Tehran in 1979…

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