Former Ireland international Anthony Stokes joins Iranian league leaders

It's Stokes' fifth club in two years.

Former Ireland international Anthony Stokes joins Iranian league leaders

Anthony Stokes is returning to Iran to join Persian Gulf Pro League leaders Persepolis.

It's the 31-year-old former Ireland international's fifth club in two years, having most recently had his contract cancelled by Turkish team Adana Demirspor.

Since being released by Hibernian in 2018 over disciplinary issues, Stokes has also played for Greece's Apollon Smyrni and Iranian-side Tractor, where he enjoyed some success before falling out with the club.

Regardless, the memory of Stokes' 13 goals in 24 games for Tractor has led Persepolis to give him a six-month contract. He will be playing home games at the 78,000-capacity Azadi Stadium.

Former League of Ireland striker Eamon Zayed became a cult hero in Iran in 2012, after scoring a hat-trick as a substitute to help Persepolis win the Tehran derby 3-2. He became known as 'Mr Hat-trick' among fans after notching three trebles that season.

There have been growing tensions in the country since US President Donald Trump pulled America out of a nuclear deal with Iran.

The US has since reimposed tough sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy and earlier this month, an American drone strike killed a top Iranian general.

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