Western style tattoos like the ones above can be seen as a mark of rebellion in a country where tattoos are illegal.
In a display meant to associate tattoos with crime, police show a tattoo on the back of a man arrested for producing synthetic drugs in his home in Tehran, May 18, 2009.
While he often wears sleeves to hide his tattoos when in Iran, Ashkan Dejagah, who lives in Germany but plays on the national team, is widely known for his tattoos which feature Persian script.
Not all tattoos are based off western images, many in Iran utilize motifs taken from ancient Iranian history in an attempt to embrace their heritage
Some in Iran believe that the ban on tatooing is about more than fear of designs like the horror inspired eyeball above by Iranian tattoo artist Tohid. The fact that the majority of tattoo artists are women who largely ink their designs on men may also be the cause of official concern.
Regardless of official bans, the popularity of tatoos in Iran seems unlikely to wane in the near future. In addition to quotes and images, some women have taken to using tattoos as permanent makeup by inking on eyebrows or other features.
Though not for all, it is clear that the place of tattooing in Iranian society is not merely a western import.
An Iranian tradtion since ancient times, tattoos remain popular in the country despite carrying a social stigma and being officially banned.