Iran, despite being one of Asia's footballing powerhouses, has not hosted the Asian Cup since 1976 ©Getty Images

Iran has joined the race to become the host of the Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup in 2027, officially joining Qatar, India and regional rivals Saudi Arabia in the bidding process.

Having previously twice hosted the tournament in 1968 and 1976, the Persian nation has also won the Asian Cup on three occasions, winning two of their titles in its host years as well as in 1972 in Thailand.

They have since made the semi-finals six times but have not made the final in more than 40 years.

Iran had previously bid for the 2019 edition before it was awarded to the United Arab Emirates.

The news comes after reports suggested that Qatar will also bid for the competition against their Saudi rivals.

Conflict between Saudi Arabia and Qatar is partially related to the relationship between Qatar and Iran.

Iran and Saudi Arabia have been involved in a proxy conflict.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the deadline for expressing interest in hosting the 2027 tournament has been moved from March 31 to June 30, with nations having just two months until it closes.

The Tehran Times have suggested that Iran may struggle to win the bid due to the standard of its top stadiums.