Fatemeh Khatibloo Posted over 3 years ago Neil MacGregor: 2600 years of history in one object John, you may want to do a bit more homework. "Iran" comes from Middle Persian, and has NOTHING to do with Nazi sympathies. In the 17th century, the country self-identified concurrently as "Iran" and "Pars" or "Persia." While it's true that Reza Shah, in the mid-30s, asked to standardize the country's name to Iran from a foreign affairs perspective, his own son in the '60s reopened the door to its being referred to as Persia once again. This is why so many Iranians refer to themselves as Persians. The term "Aryan" in its purest form refers to speakers of the earliest Indo-European languages, which just so happen to be Indo-Iranians. Illogically, Hitler appropriated the term, and effectively redefined it to suit his own political and xenophobic ideology.