Mehran Shahintab will remain Iran's head coach for Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

Mehran Shahintab has been confirmed as the head coach of Iran’s men’s basketball team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Shahintab was expected to retain the position having held the role at the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) World Cup in China last year.

Despite losing all three group games - including an eight-point defeat to eventual winners Spain - Iran finished as the highest-ranked Asian team at the tournament.

Shahintab oversaw wins over Angola and the Philippines in the classification round to achieve that feat and Olympic qualification.

Iran edged out China on points difference.

According to the Tehran Times, the Islamic Republic of Iran Basketball Federation (IRIBF)’s technical committee approved Shahintab as the head coach for Tokyo 2020.

The IRIBF has targeted a quarter-final place at the Games, which were postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Twelve teams are due to compete in two groups in Japan, with the top four in each advancing to the knockout rounds.

Iran are one of eight nations to have qualified for the tournament, including the host nation Japan.

Iran qualified for Tokyo 2020 after being the best ranked Asian team at the FIBA World Cup ©Getty Images
Iran qualified for Tokyo 2020 after being the best ranked Asian team at the FIBA World Cup ©Getty Images

World champions Spain, France, Argentina, Nigeria, United States and Australia all secured their places due to their performances at last year’s World Cup.

Four qualification tournaments are set to take place prior to Tokyo 2020 to determine the remaining teams.

Iran's basketball team last reached the Olympics at Beijing 2008, losing all five games and finishing 11th out of 12 teams.

Iran's participation at next summer's Olympics is a divisive issue and there have been calls for the nation to be banned following the execution of wrestler Navid Afkari.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was among the organisations to call for clemency before Afkari - accused of stabbing a security guard to death and being involvement in demonstrations against the country's regime in 2018 - was killed.

Afkari had claimed he was tortured into making a false confession.

Human Rights Watch said the case was "part of a systematic pattern in which Iranian authorities disregard torture allegations and use coerced confessions in trial proceedings".

IOC vice-president John Coates hinted an Olympic ban for Iran was unlikely as "this execution didn't relate to a sporting event" and numerous other nations competing at the Olympics also still have the death penalty.