Iran’s ascent in the world stage is undeniable, as they have qualified to their first-ever Olympic Games as the top ranked Asian squad at the World Olympic Qualification Tournament in Japan. Their recent results have also raised their status in major competitions. The Iranian side became a consistent top two continental championship finisher with a breakthrough win in 2011 and a follow-up victory in the 2013 edition, over their silver medal finishes in 2009 and 2015. Iran have featured in the past three World Championships and finished sixth at the 2014 edition in Poland, where a strong Russian side defeated them in the final round. They picked up where they left off in 2014 when they defeated Japan to win gold at the Asian Games in Incheon, Korea.
Iran came third in Group 1’s Pool B at the 2015 World League, where the United States and Poland progressed to the next round. However, they took encouragement after defeating every team in their pool, including a double sweep of USA in Russia. Although they still have some way to go, Iran are on the rise and can present a good challenge to the world’s elite teams. They have made rapid improvement in recent seasons, including their 2014 World League campaign, culminating in a fourth place finish in Group 1, following a straight-set defeat by their Italian hosts in the bronze medal match.