The Lions of Mesopotamia held South Korea in their last game in an inspired performance in Seoul. It was also their manager Dick Advocaat's first game in charge.
But Team Melli had to work hard to beat a dogged Syrian side, with Alireza Jahanbakhsh netting the winner early in the second half. That was enough for them to take pole position in Group A after matchday one in the third round with no other side registering a victory.
Iraq vs Iran Head-To-Head
There have been 25 clashes between the sides before, with Iran winning 13 times in all competitions.
They last met as recently as June this year, in the second round of these qualifiers. Team Melli won 1-0 at home, avenging their 2-1 loss in the first-leg.
Iraq Form Guide (all competitions): W-W-W-L-D
Iran From Guide (all competitions): W-W-W-W-W
Iraq vs Iran Team News
The Lions of Mesopotamia performed fairly well against South Korea despite fielding a relatively weaker side. However, Iran are a different kettle of fish and head coach Dick Advocaat might shake his side up a little.
Neither of the side's top-scorers, Alaa Abdul-Zahra nor Mohanad Ali, started in the XI on Thursday. They may lead the line for this game though.
Real Salt Lake star Justin Meram might also come into the XI to fire up their midfield.
Team Melli have been given a huge boost with Sardar Azmoun back in the squad after serving his suspension. He may join up with Mehdi Taremi upfront.
Dinamo Zagreb defender Sadegh Moharrami was rested in the last game and might come into the squad for Tuesday's encounter.
Iraq vs Iran Predicted XI
Iraq (4-2-3-1): Fahad Talib; Sherko Gubari, Ali Faez, Ahmad Khalaf, Ali Adnan; Amir Al-Ammari, Amjad Attwan; Mohammed Qasim, Alaa Abdul-Zahra, Ibrahim Bayesh; Mohanad Ali.
Iran (4-4-2): Alireza Beiranvand; Sadegh Moharrami, Shojae Khalilzadeh, Hossein Kanaanizadegan, Ehsan Hajsafi; Ali Gholizadeh, Ahmad Nourollahi, Saied Ezatolahi, Alireza Jahanbakhsh; Sardar Azmoun, Mehdi Taremi.
Iraq vs Iran Prediction
Iraq will be buoyed after their draw with South Korea and a repeat of that performance will certainly make life difficult for Iran.
But Team Melli are one of the best attacking sides in Asia. With Azmoun also back in the side, the visitors are likely to come through this with all three points.
Prediction: Iraq 1-2 Iran