Today in Middle Eastern history: Iran becomes “Iran” (1935)

I know that title seems too cutesy and I apologize for that. It is both a historical oddity and a signifier of our general Orientalist indifference toward the peoples of the Middle East that the nation (kingdom, empire, whatever it was at any particular point in history) of Iran was never officially called “Iran” by anybody other than Iranians until 1935. Iranians, on the other hand, had been calling it “Iran” for millennia.

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