A report that Iran was "joining" the ESRB received wide play on game news sites last week. However, that information appears to be erroneous.
We also put in a request to the ESRB for clarification. Spokesman Eliot Mizrachi took time from his holiday break to respond to GamePolitics:
Our ratings apply to games available at retail in the U.S. and Canada. No membership is required to submit games to ESRB.
Companies from other countries may submit for rating if the game is to be sold in the U.S. and/or Canadian market… Our ratings apply to games sold in the U.S. and Canada only…
We have not had any discussions with Iran about their adopting our rating system.