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13 Mohammad JAMSHIDIJAFARABADI (Islamic Republic of Iran)
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Iran finalize roster for OQT in Turin

TEHRAN (2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments) - Iran head coach Dirk Bauermann has settled on a 12-man roster for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) in Turin that has plenty of experience but also promising young talent.

The most recognizable of faces from recent times are Hamed Hadadi, Oshin Sahakian, Arsalan Kazemi, Mohammad Jamshidi and Asghar Kardoust.

Iran 12-player roster for 2016 FIBA OQT in Turin

 Sedighi Amir  Adnan Doraghi  Aslani Farid  Hamed Hadadi
 Mohammad Jamshidi  Asghar Kardoust  Arsalan Kazemi  Sajjad Mashayekhi
 Hassanzadeh Mohammad  Oshin Sahakian  Behnam Yakhchali  Arman Zangeneh

Youngsters that figure to be in the Iran set-up for years to come that will also be present include Behnam Yakhchali, who turns 21 on 12 July, Sajjad Mashayekhi (22), Sedighi Amir (turns 23 on 16 July) and Arman Zangeneh (23).

Yakhchali has already played significant minutes for Iran at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup and at last year's FIBA Asia Championship.

I don’t expect to qualify for the Olympics but on the other hand, I believe that nothing is impossible. - Mashhoun

Iran will play at the OQT against Greece and Mexico in Group A while Croatia, Italy and Tunisia will be in Group B. Only the winner of the event will qualify for the Olympics.

Iran went into last summer having won three of the previous four FIBA Asia Championships. They finished third in Changsha-Hunan behind China and the Philippines. They nevertheless showed plenty of skill and determination under coach Bauermann.

Iran will be underdogs in Turin. Everyone knows that, including Iran themselves.

"Our team is in good shape at the moment but we have a difficult task ahead of us," Iran Basketball Federation president Mahmoud Mashhoun said to the Mehr news agency, as reported in the Tehran Times. "I don't expect to qualify for the Olympics but on the other hand, I believe that nothing is impossible."

No matter what happens, Iran's younger players will gain invaluable experience.

"We have invited some young players to the national team," Mashhoun said. "I believe that our young players have a bright future. Regardless of the results in the tournaments, they will gain experience and show their capabilities in the next competitions."

Iran's last Olympic appearance was in 2008.