The Persians are an Indo-European people in the area of Middle East and Central Asia and live mainly in the area of today’s Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan. The use of the Persian language as a mother tongue underlies the definition as a Persian people. The term Persians was also used historically and denoted Iranian peoples who settled parts of the Iranian highlands named after them. Starting from the region north of the Persian Gulf, in the area of Persis, today’s province of Fars, the ancient Persians began in the 6th century BC. To spread their language and culture almost throughout the Iranian highlands by subjugating other population groups. About 50 million Persians live in today’s Iran, about 65% of the total population.
Centuries before the beginning of the era, Indo-European tribes founded the first world empire of antiquity and gave it the name “Eran-sahr”, which means something like “Land of the Iranians” or “Land of the Aryans”. At a later time, when the tribe of the “Parsees” became the determining power, they called their empire “Persia”. It was not until 1935 that Shah Reza Pahlavi I officially replaced the name Persia with Iran – so the country on the Persian Gulf is again named after its ancestors who once settled it.
Source: Federal Statistical Office, Wiesbaden