For the first time in their history, Iran will be appearing at the World Cup for the second successive tournament this summer as they look to break new ground in Russia.
Indeed, this is the fourth time in the past 20 years that Team Melli have made it to the grandest stage in the game, but they are yet to progress past the group stages.
Here, Sports Mole assesses Iran's chances at the 2018 World Cup.
GROUPIran's hopes of making it through to the knockout stages for the first time may have been over before they had even begun when they were drawn in a group which is arguably the most difficult for any of the underdogs to qualify from.
Iran will at least be hopeful that their campaign will get off to a positive start when they face Morocco - the easiest opponents on paper - in their opening match, but even victory in Saint Petersburg is unlikely to raise optimism beyond realistic levels.
June 15: Morocco vs. Iran (4pm, Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg)
June 20: Iran vs. Spain (7pm, Kazan Arena, Kazan)
June 25: Iran vs. Portugal (7pm, Mordovia Arena, Saransk)
HOW THEY QUALIFIEDBased solely on qualifying, Iran should be Asia's best hope of a good showing at Russia 2018, having been the only team to have come through that section without losing a single game.
Team Melli won 12 and drew six of their 18 games across both qualifying rounds, extending an unbeaten run in World Cup qualifying which now stretches all the way back to November 2012.
Indeed, Carlos Queiroz's side kept clean sheets in 12 consecutive qualifying games before conceding twice in a draw with Syria in their final match, a result which saw them finish a full seven points clear of South Korea in the standings.
It was Iran's most successful qualifying campaign since the 1978 World Cup, when they also remained unbeaten and won 10 of their 12 outings en route to Argentina.
Iran have lost just two of their 10 matches since the end of their qualification campaign, winning seven of those games including four already this calendar year.
A late Sardar Azmoun strike fired them past Lithuania in their final warm-up game, ensuring that they will travel to Russia off the back of a win having lost 2-1 to Turkey prior to that.
Looking even further back, Iran have suffered only three defeats in their last 36 outings, and you have to go back to March 2015 for their most recent defeat by more than a one-goal margin.
Goalkeepers: Alireza Beiranvand (Persepolis), Rashid Mazaheri (Zob Ahan), Amir Abedzadeh (Maritimo).
Defenders: Majid Hosseini (Esteghlal), Ramin Rezaeian (Ostende), Mohammad Reza Khanzadeh (Padideh), Morteza Pouraliganji (Alsaad), Pejman Montazeri (Esteghlal), Milad Mohammadi (Akhmat Grozny), Roozbeh Cheshmi (Esteghlal).
Midfielders: Saeid Ezatolahi (Amkar Perm), Masoud Shojaei (AEK Athens), Mehdi Torabi (Saipa), Omid Ebrahimi (Esteghlal), Ehsan Haji Safi (Olympiacos), Karim Ansarifard (Olympiacos), Vahid Amiri (Persepolis).
Forwards: Alireza Jahanbakhsh (AZ Alkmaar), Mehdi Taremi (Al Gharafa), Sardar Azmoun (Rubin Kazan), Reza Ghoochannejhad (Heerenveen), Saman Ghoddos (Ostersunds), Ashkan Dejagah (Nottingham Forest).
STAR PLAYER - Alireza Jahanbakhsh
AZ Alkmaar winger Alireza Jahanbakhsh does have the ability to create and score goals, however, which he further highlighted in the 2017-18 campaign when finishing top of the Eredivisie goalscoring charts.
Jahanbakhsh has inevitably earned links with some of European football's big names, and a positive showing on the biggest stage of them all will only drive his valuation up further.
The first Asian player to top the goalscoring charts in one of Europe's major leagues, the 24-year-old must now replicate his club form at international level - four goals in 37 caps being an underwhelming return in comparison.
MANAGER - Carlos Queiroz
Initially appointed in April 2011 on a deal until the 2014 World Cup, the former Manchester United assistant impressed enough to earn an extension to this summer's tournament, where they became the third team to qualify after hosts Russia and Brazil.
The vastly-experienced 65-year-old's stock has continued to rise despite his more modest surroundings, then, and Russia 2018 will be his third successive World Cup as a manager, having led his native Portugal in 2010 and Iran four years ago.
Queiroz also spent a spell in charge of Portugal in the early 1990s, and his work as number two at United was so impressive that he was appointed Madrid boss in June 2003 - although he held that position for less than a year.
WORLD CUP RECORD
Best finish: Group Stages (1978, 1998, 2006, 2014)
As mentioned, Iran have never made it out of the group stages at the World Cup, being knocked out at the first hurdle in all four of their previous appearances at the tournament.
Indeed, they have only ever won one World Cup match before, although that victory over United States at France 1998 is one which will live long in the memory of every football fan associated with both countries.
It took a 91st-minute winner from Lionel Messi for Argentina to squeeze past them four years ago, but Iran still only managed one point as they finished bottom of the group - a fate which has befallen them in three of their previous four World Cup experiences.
Overall Iran have played only 12 matches at the World Cup, with that solitary victory being joined by three draws and eight defeats. Iran have also never scored more than two goals at a single World Cup, netting seven times in total while conceding 22.
Iran's form heading into this World Cup is respectable, but they would need to pull off some major surprises if they are to avoid another group-stage exit this summer considering the presence of Spain and Portugal in their group.
VERDICT: Fourth in Group B