How they qualified: In style. Topped their group ahead of Korea Republic and Uzbekistan, and conceded a miserly two goals in eight games.
World Cup pedigree: An infinitely satisfying 2-1 win over the USA at France '98 is their shining highlight.
Main man: Javad Nekounam is Iran's talisman. The technically gifted central midfielder hit six goals in qualifying and boasts more than 130 international caps.
One to watch: Reza Ghoochannejhad. The Standard Liege striker represented the Dutch U-19s team but after finding that he was eligible for Iran, Carlos Queiroz quickly snapped him up. He's repaid that faith since, hitting eight goals in ten games for Team Melli. Some commentators fear him too.
What are their chances? Slim. Would be happy with a point, ecstatic with a win.