Why is it that every time, without exception, whenever I meet someone from Iran, I ask them where they are from and they invariably say "Persia"? I'm not exaggerating. Every one has said "Persia".
What a fascinating link. Thank you.

Whenever I ask "Persians" why they don't call themselves "Iranians", they usually try to explain that Persia is so much older than Iran and they feel that better represents who they are. Frankly, I suspect it's a combination between fear of the reaction of others and embarrassment at the current political situation.

Whatever the cause, I think it's a bit sad.
Interesting you should mention that. I was recently reading "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins. It's a fascinating book, though a bit weak in spots and certainly not for the easily offended. In any event, I found myself taking the cover off lest I offend others by the title. After a while, I realized I wasn't worried about accidentally offending others. Instead, it was a fear reaction. Back in the states, I know that some would see the cover and give me grief about it and since I've been attacked more than once for being an atheist, I've grown to be very cautious around Christians.

Over here, the few Christians I've met aren't terribly concerned about my beliefs. It's so much more a "live and let live" attitude, but my American-instilled fear is hard to get over.
I have known alot of Persians. Iran is a much different place than Persia was and it does distinquish what their political feelings are. A close friend who was born and raised in Iran said Persia means "Paradise" but Iran stands for death.
Maybe it's better marketing for their rugs? I mean, who would want to buy an "Iranian" rug?
They've been doing that since the Shaj fell and the Ayatollah took over. They really developed the habit after the hostage crisis in '79 when people, especially Americans, were apt to react with hatred when they said they were Iranian. I encountered it when I was in Turkey in the '80s. I had no idea they were still doing it.