Iranian athletes excelled at the Guangzhou 2010 Asian Games in November,and women were prominent among them – stirring controversy among conservatives at home.
With 88 places on the national team, female competitors accounted for a quarter of the Iranian force, which took fourth place overall at the games, its highest ranking in three decades.
The top Iranian sportswoman was Khadijeh Azadpour, who took gold in wushu, a martial art, and many others won silver and bronze medals.
The level of female participation in sports places Iran ahead of many other Islamic states, but it is still controversial at home.
The government is left in an ambivalent position, torn between backing women's sports and accommodating the deep-seated hostility from conservative Shia clerics.
Before the national team left for Guangzhou, Iranian vice-president Ali Saeedlou, who heads the national physical education organisation, promised a new home and other rewards to anyone who came home with a gold medal.
The house deeds were supposed to be handed over when the team touched down in Tehran, but when Azadpour asked where her reward was, she was told she would receive it only if she got married.
After this was reported widely in the media, Saeedlou had to issue a correction, saying that "all gold medalists are to get apartments, married or unmarried".
During the Asian games, Marzieh Akbarabadi, deputy head of the physical education organisation, was asked by a reporter why the Iranian sportswomen were being shown more on Persian-language TV stations based outside the country than they were on state television channels. She replied that it was hard to get top clerics to consent to female participation in sport.
A number of senior clerics were highly critical of the presence of female Iranian competitors at the games. Grand Ayatollah Safi Golpayegani, 91, said sending female athletes to events abroad was a "disgrace".