TEHRAN (AFP) Iran will play east Asian football powerhouses Japan and South Korea early September as they prepare for a strong 2011 Asian Cup showing, the ISNA news agency reported Monday. Irans announcement for the friendlies comes three days after the Asian Cup finals draw placed the country alongside defending champions and neighbours Iraq. North Korea, one of four Asian teams involved in this years World Cup in South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates have also been drawn in group D for Asias biggest football tournament, which will be held in Qatar from January 7-29, 2011. The match with South Korea is fixed for September 7 and we are negotiating with the Japanese football federation to play a friendly match on September 4, said Abbas Torabian of the Iranian football federation. Iran, who failed to make it to the World Cup, will travel to Asia to play the games against Japan and South Korea, both of whom will appear in the upcoming World Cup. Irans Team Melli, with a current FIFA ranking of 63 that puts them behind Australia, South Korea and Saudi Arabia, have won the Asian Cup three times in 1968, 1972 and 1976 and were hosts of the event in 1968 and 1976.