This exchange of comments on English Language and Usage got me to wondering if outdoor ice-skating is or was ever a sport in Iran (or central Asia). Certainly it gets cold enough in parts of Iran.
Iran has ski resorts, and skiing has been popular in Iran for a long time. Good skiing is easily accessible from Tehran. However, the main population center, Tehran, has an average low above freezing, so skaters there are dependent on ice-rinks.
The first ice-rink in Tehran since 1979 opened in 2013: From FarsNews:
Iran’s first standard skating rink will open in Tehran’s Aramis Sports Complex on Sunday.
The rink is predicted to host thousands of Iranian ice-skating enthusiasts who have long been waiting for the standard hall.
The openning [sic] of the ice rink seems to be now even more important than before as Iranian athletes can exercise six ice-related sports in preparation for winter Olympics and Asian games, including ice skating and figure skating.
Global News shows a video of skaters enjoying the rink.
Skating, of course, started as an outdoor sport thousands of years ago: one source says more than 3,000 years ago in Finland. The same source says that ice-skating can be traced in China to the Song dynasty (960–1279 CE). See also National Geographic on the subject of ancient ice-skates.
However, I have not been able to find anything on outdoor ice-skating on natural ice in Iran. I could have generalized my search to ancient Persia, and the countries of Central Asia, but decided to ask the question here instead.
Afterthought: It may be that Central Asia is too dry, and Iran not cold enough, except in the mountains, which are sparsely populated. But it would be nice to know for sure.