The Real Iran: Life Beyond The Veil

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It may not be for the right reasons, but Iran could be the world's most talked-about nation today! Are nuclear missiles really the whole story, though? Whether it's Iran's Ayatollahs, President Hassan Rouhani, or another figure within the Islamic regime running things, one thing is clear — most people only know Iran through the headlines.

Because many may imagine veils, mosques, desserts, and women donning hijabs, it might be surprising to see that the Middle Eastern nation shares plenty of similarities with the Western World. The truth is, Iran is a nation where east and west meet in the most unexpected of ways!

Persia Or Iran?

First things first: The name! On the Iranian New Year ("Nowruz") of 1935, ruler Reza Shah Pahlavi asked foreign delegates to use the term Iran, in all formal correspondences. Since that time, the use of the word "Iran" has become more common, at least in the Western World.

Following the 1979 Islamic Iranian Revolution, the Islamic Republic of Iran became the country's official name by referendum. But what does it really mean?

The name "Irān" means "land of the Aryans" in ancient Persian. The term "Persian" on the other hand, is a name given by outsiders. Iranians never historically referred to Iran by that name. Who knew, really?

Read on to see the secrets of life behind the veil in modern day Iran!