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Modern Iranian peoples include the Baloch, Gilaks, Kurds, Lurs, Mazanderanis, Ossetians, Pashtuns, Pamiris, Persians, Tajiks, the Talysh, Wakhis and Yaghnobis.
Their current distribution spreads across the Iranian Plateau and stretches from the Caucasus in the north to the Persian Gulf in the south and from Xinjiang in the east to eastern Turkey in the west—a region that is sometimes called the Iranian cultural continent—and represents the extent of the Iranian languages and significant influence of the Iranian peoples through the geopolitical reach of Greater Iran.
However, with limited staff and resources, we simply cannot respond to all who write to us.
Submit questions or comments online By postal mail: Central Intelligence Agency Office of Public Affairs Washington, D. 20505 By phone:(703) 482-0623Open during normal business hours.In Middle Persian, Shapur says "ērānšahr xwadāy hēm" and in Parthian he says "aryānšahr xwadāy ahēm".The Avesta clearly uses airiia- as an ethnic name (Videvdat 1; Yasht 13.143–44, etc.), where it appears in expressions such as airyāfi daiŋˊhāvō ("Iranian lands"), airyō šayanəm ("land inhabited by Iranians"), and airyanəm vaējō vaŋhuyāfi dāityayāfi ("Iranian stretch of the good Dāityā").All this evidence shows that the name Arya was a collective definition, denoting peoples who were aware of belonging to the one ethnic stock, speaking a common language, and having a religious tradition that centered on the cult of Ohrmazd.The academic usage of the term Iranian is distinct from the state of Iran and its various citizens (who are all Iranian by nationality), in the same way that the term Germanic peoples is distinct from Germans.In the late part of the Avesta (Videvdat 1), one of the mentioned homelands was referred to as Airyan'əm Vaējah which approximately means "expanse of the Iranians".