I mentioned Iranian cycling “once before,”:http://www.totalwonkerr.net/2094/tour-diran but thought I’d do so again when I saw “this Boulder Report piece”:http://bicycling.com/blogs/boulderreport/2011/10/28/cyclings-new-talent-pool-is-iran/?cm_mmc=BicyclingNL-_-727794-_-11082011-_-cyclings_new_talent_pool_is_iran discussing several European pro teams’ interest in Mehdi Sohrabi of Iran’s Tabriz Petrochemical team. It seems that he’s now part of “Lotto-Belisol.”:http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/lotto-belisol-reveals-2012-kit
According to the Boulder Report piece and “this”:http://www.velonation.com/News/ID/10212/Mehdi-Sohrabi-helps-Lotto-Ridley-with-WorldTour-spot.aspx article, the European teams wanted Sohrabi for his UCI points in order to qualify as WorldTour teams (the articles explain it better than I can).
Still, perhaps this is a trend. The Boulder Report does point out that “for somewhat undetermined reasons, visa issues for Iranian riders appear to have lessened, meaning [Iranian riders] Sohrabi and Zargari can actually sign contracts for foreign teams.”