Carlos Queiroz's men were on the back foot for much of the Group B clash and looked to have held on for a goalless draw when Aziz Bouhaddouz put through his own net in the 95th minute.
And the nature of that strike meant that Iran made rather bizarre history in Saint Petersburg.
For the first time since the 1966 tournament, a team scored a World Cup goal without having a single shot in that half of football.
Pretty it was not, but Iran would certainly take two more triumphs in that manner - and they have not been the only side to profit from a late strike.
1 - Since 1966, Iran are the first team to score a goal in a half of football in the World Cup without attempting a single shot in that half. Fortunate. #MARIRN #MAR #IRN #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/AVD7xVJfU9— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 15, 2018
With Russia scoring two of their five goals against Saudi Arabia in the dying embers of that clash, and Uruguay winning late against Egypt, four of the seven goals across the first three matches have been netted after the 88th minute.
Plenty more drama will undoubtedly be in store before next month's final.