After 16 years without participation, Iraq qualified for the 2004 Summer Olympics after winning the 2004 Olympic Asian Qualifiers under head coach Adnan Hamad and were scheduled to play against Costa Rica, Morocco and Portugal in the group stages. At the Olympics Iraq started with a shocking 4–2 win against Portugal. That was followed by a 2–0 win against Costa Rica and a 2–1 loss to Morocco. The quarter-finals saw them beat Australia 1–0, and in the semi-final against Paraguay, Iraq lost 3–1. In the bronze medal match, Iraq lost 1–0 and finished fourth.
Iraq advanced from the group stage, beating Yemen 2–0, Uzbekistan 3–2, and a 1–1 tie with South Korea. In the quarterfinals, Iraq beat UAE 3–1 in extra time to progress to the semifinals. Iraq lost 2–1 to Japan.
In the third place match, Iraq came back from behind to beat Qatar 2–1 to qualify for 2016 Olympics.
Iraq qualified for the 2016 Olympics by clinching third place at the 2016 AFC U-23 Championship. The first game saw Iraq play against Denmark, and the score turned out as a 0–0 draw, despite Iraq having 18 shots in the match. The second game was played against the hosts and pre-tournament favourites, Brazil, which also ended up as a 0–0 draw, which was hailed as a great result for Iraq. In the third game, Iraq tied South Africa 1–1, despite having a huge 29 shots in the match. This result, coupled with Denmark's defeat to Brazil, saw Iraq get eliminated at the group stage.