Name for the Iranian plateau, comprising today’s Iran and Afghanistan. The name came from an area in southern Iran called Persia but came to be used for the larger area with the expansion performed by the Greeks in the last centuries BCE.
There were, and are, several peoples living in this area, all considering themselves as Iranians. From the earliest sources we know that in the 3rd millennium BCE, the following people lived here: In the south, the Elamites; north of them the Kassites; in the northwestern parts of today’s Iran lived the Manneans; south of the Caspian Sea lived the Caspians. We know little of what relationship there were between these peoples, and we know little of their languages.
From the 2nd Millenium BCE, we hear of the Aryans invading from the north. It is in the 1st Millenium BCE that a people called Persians appear in the south, these were descendants of the Aryans.
There is quite a bit of confusion about what should be called Persia, and what Iran throughout history.
The name Persia was used up until 1935 when there came a demand to change from Persia considered to be a Western name into the name used by people of the region: Iran.
Even if the people of Persia can be divided, they consider themselves more or less as one racial entity, the different peoples are often set apart due to geography and culture.
The peoples today often overlap one another, especially is this true in major cities. Azerbaijanis live in the northwestern corner; Kurds along the border to Turkey and Iran; Lors live in central-western Iran; south of the Lors live the Bakhtiari; Persians live in the central and southern Iran; Baloch live in southeastern Iran, as well as in southwestern Pakistan; Pathans live in southern Afghanistan; Tadchiks live in northern Afghanistan; as well as Uzbeks, Turcomans, and Kygyzians live in northeastern Afghanistan.