1. An ethnic group who form the ethnic majority in the modern-day Islamic Republic of Iran (they make up about 51% of the country's population). They are also found in significant numbers in the UK, India and Gulf States, such as the United Arab Emirates.
2. A language traditionally spoken as a first language by Persians (see definition 1) as well as by Tajiks and the Hazara people of Afghanistan. Also known as Farsi, Parsi and Dari.
3. Before 1935, Iran was known as "Persia". When there was a country called Persia, its adjective was "Persian" and its citizens (regardless of ethnicity) were known as "Persians". Some people still falsely use the word in this way, in relation to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
4. A domestic breed of cat, notable for its long fur.
5. World-renowned rugs and carpets, exported from Iran to the rest of the world.
The Persian Empire, under various guises, existed from 728BCE until 1187CE. For much of its existence, it dominated Central Asia and was hugely influential upon the Islamic World.
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