Iran qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup

Iran's Alireza Jahan Bakhsh right defends against Uzbekistan's Akmal Shorakhmedov during their 2018 Russia World Cup qualifying soccer match at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran Iran Monday

Iran's Alireza Jahan Bakhsh right defends against Uzbekistan's Akmal Shorakhmedov during their 2018 Russia World Cup qualifying soccer match at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran Iran Monday

It is the first time Iran has qualified for consecutive World Cups, and will be its fifth appearance in total.

This is the fifth qualification to the global finals for Iran, having previously appeared at football's showpiece event in 1978, 1998, 2006 and 2014.

In his twitter account, Rouhani congratulated the players on their "decisive advance" to the 2018 World Cup, and thanked them for "making all Iranians happy", and Zarif posted a photo of cheerful Iranian fans in the stadium with a congratulatory caption.

But Taremi calmed Iran's nerves when he added the second goal late on by curling a low shot into the corner of Lobanov's goal to spark celebrations amongst the home supporters.

Iran, managed by former Real Madrid and Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz since 2011, tops Group A of Asian qualifying.

The Iranian players celebrated with the national flag, broadcast live on TV with a rousing soundtrack.

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Korea Republic travel to Qatar in Tuesday targeting three points and Group A's second qualifying spot, while Group B leaders Japan face Iraq in Tehran knowing that a win will move them three points clear of both Saudi Arabia and Australia.

Iran is still unbeaten in the third stage of qualifying and amazingly has not conceded a single goal during the campaign, thus underlining its credentials as one of Asia's football giants.

Thousands of Iranians spilled onto the streets after the match with impromptu street parties in Tehran and across the country as people danced, waved flags and honked auto horns.

Despite knowing a win would book their place in Russian Federation, the Iranians started the game in a controlled fashion and in the 23rd minute Azmoun showed his cool head in front of goal to put his side in front.

Iran joins host Russian Federation and five-time champion Brazil in securing a place for the tournament which runs from June 14 to July 15, 2018.

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