Iranian soccer supporters wave their country's flag following a friendly match at the Azadi, (freedom) stadium in Tehran, Iran on Nov. 18, 2014.
Vahid Salemi—AP
April 5, 2015 10:28 AM EDT

Iran announced on Saturday it would allow women to attend major sporting events, according to The New York Times. Previously, women were not allowed inside stadiums for games attended by men.

The announcement came from Abdolhamid Ahmad, Iran’s deputy sports minister with its Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, and was made to the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency.

From the Times:

Ahmad said the new policy will come into effect during this Iranian calendar year.

Last week, an appeals court dismissed charges against Ghoncheh Ghavami, an Iranian-British activist who was arrested last June after trying to attend a men’s volleyball match in Iran. She was convicted and sentenced to a year in jail, but was released on bail after five months.

The Times also said Saturday’s announcement was apparently timed to coincide with the recent breakthrough in negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program.

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