[Mb-civic] FW: FYI
grgolsorkhi at earthlink.net
Wed Jan 4 06:49:51 PST 2006
------ Forwarded Message
From: Samii Shahla <shahla at thesamiis.com>
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 2005 17:25:53 -0500
The Encyclopedia Iranica explanation for the change from 'Persia' to 'Iran'
Begin forwarded message:
> When "Persia" became "Iran"
> This article is a part of "Persia or Iran" by Professor Ehsan Yarshater *,
> published in Iranian Studies, Vol. XXII, No.1, 1989.
> In 1935 the Iranian government requested those countries which it had
> diplomatic relations with, to call Persia "Iran," which is the name of the
> country in Persian.
> The suggestion for the change is said to have come from the Iranian ambassador
> to Germany, who came under the influence of the Nazis. At the time Germany was
> in the grip of racial fever and cultivated good relations with nations of
> "Aryan" blood. It is said that some German friends of the ambassador persuaded
> him that, as with the advent of Reza Shah, Persia had turned a new leaf in its
> history and had freed itself from the pernicious influences of Britain and
> Russia, whose interventions in Persian affairs had practically crippled the
> country under the Qajars, it was only fitting that the country be called by
> its own name, "Iran." This would not only signal a new beginning and bring
> home to the world the new era in Iranian history, but would also signify the
> Aryan race of its population, as "Iran" is a cognate of "Aryan" and derived
> from it.
> The Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent out a circular to all foreign
> embassies in Tehran, requesting that the country thenceforth be called "Iran."
> Diplomatic courtesy obliged, and by and by the name "Iran" began to appear in
> official correspondence and news items.
> At first "Iran" sounded alien (for non-Iranians), and many failed to recognize
> its connection with Persia. Some (Westerners) thought that it was perhaps one
> of the new countries like Iraq and Jordan carved out of the ruins of the
> Ottoman Empire, or a country in Africa or Southeast Asia that had just been
> granted independence; and not a few confused it with Iraq, itself a recent
> As time passed and as a number of events, like the Allied invasion of Iran in
> 1941 and the nationalization of the oil industry under Prime Minster Dr
> Mohammad Mosaddeq, put the country in the headlines, the name "Iran" became
> generally accepted, and "Persia" fell into comparative disuse, though more
> slowly in Britain than in the United States.
> * Professor Yarshater is the founder & director of the Encyclopaedia Iranica
> project. For details on Iranica please log on towww.Iranica.com
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