March 8, 2001
Ferdosi was not a Nazi
With reference to Mr. Motamedi's article regarding Iran and Persia ["Bring
back Persia"], tt seems that there is a general misunderstanding
regarding the name of our country. The name of our country has alway been
Iran. Persia is the name used by the British and other Europeans before
Reza Shah came to power.
If you refer to ancient writings in Persepolis and other places, you
will see that the name of the country was Iran, even at the time of Kourosh
and Dariush. Iran means "land of Aryans" and has existed ever
sice the Arian tribes arrived there from central Asia.
As the dominant tribe became the Persians (Paars-haa), Iran was known
as the Persian (Persis) Empire by the Greeks and later the Romans, and
this is how this "Persia" came about.
I doubt it if this word "Persia" can be found in any Iranian
book (old or new), the best example is Ferdosi's Shahnameh . And
I think most have heard these two verses;
cho "Iran" mabaashad tan e man mabaad
bedin boom o bar zendeh yek tan mabaad
Dareegh ast "Iran" ke viraan shavad
Konaam e palengaan o shiraan shavad.
In the Shahnameh there are hundreds of other reference to "Iran"
and none to "Persia" or even "Paars". And we all know
that Ferdosi lived about 1000 years before Reza Shah so he could not have
been a Nazi.
Finally you can refer to books and literature during Qajar dynasty and
the Constitutional Revolution or even Qajari stamps. And in case Mr. Motamedi
doesn't know, these were all before Reza Shah.
What the Iranian government did in 1931 was to ask the United Nation
to use the correct name for our country. Reza Shah did not change the
name of our country from "Persia" to "Iran". If some
people are ashamed to use "Iran" or "Iranian" it is
really their problem. But it is better not to write about subjects that
they don't know anything about.