Iranian descent is often tied in with Persian descent because both are used to describe people from Iran, and while some think that it means the same thing, which terms is exactly correct? Iranian and Persian descent may not be the exact same thing depending on how history is looked at. There is sometimes a specific distinction when it comes to the two terms because Persian descent can be about a narrowed ethnicity while an Iranian descent is about claiming a particular nationality. A citizen from Iran may claim one descent without being related to the other descent.
A Brief Look At Persia and Iran’s History
Before 1935, the name of Iran at the time and the surrounding lands had been named “Persia” because of the ancient Persian empire. The Persian empire has long since been called Iran though. Iran and The Islamic Republic of Iran was birthed into existence internationally in 1935, but the country and its current boundaries wasn’t officially founded until 1979 following the revolution.
Persian descents are always linked to Iran because the Persian empire and the original citizens there had inhabited the land before Iran was formed. Many different tribal groups and ethnicities currently live in Modern day Iran. Other citizens who currently live in Iran can relate to Gilaki, Kurdish, and Azeri, but most citizens in Iran are Persian descent. It’s true that everyone who lives in Iran is considered of Iranian descent, there are only a handful who can trace their lineage to Persia.
Iran Founded in 1979
The revolution started in 1979 after the Islamic Republic government replaced the former monarchy of the Persian Empire, and the citizens of Persia were no longer called Persians. After the revolution, the last known king of the Persian monarch left the country to live in exile. “Persian” is a term that brings history of the former Persian empire to mind, but it is still relevant and had cultural value. Iran and Persia combined together means history, bur Iran on its own often finds its way into political discussions and debates.
Composition Of Iran
The CIA World Factbook for 2011 pins the ethnicity breakdown for Iran as follows:
According to the CIA World Factbook, Persians make up 51% of Iran’s ethnic composition while Azeri is 24% followed by Gilaki and Mazandaran at 8%, Kurd at 7%, and 3% of Arab.
Language of Iran
Persian is the official language of Iran, but it’s also referred locally as Farsi.
It should also be noted that 58% of Iranian descent speak Persian or a dialect of it while others may speak Turkic, Kurdish, and Arabic.
Are Arabs Persians?
Iranian descents are no way shape or form an Arab
With over 22 countries in the Middle East and North Africa that consists of Arabic culture, it’s easy to understand why people associate Iranian descents with Arabic descents. Persian or Iranian descents can be found in Turkey, but they mainly live in Iran and up to the Indus River of Pakistan. Arabs history is drastically different and so is the locations that they are linked to historically such as Arabia, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Syrian Desert; Iranian descent’s history is strictly tied to the Persian Empire. Iranian descents only speak only Iranian and Persian languages while Arabs strictly speak Arabic.