Iran’s Unholy Alliance with Hitler Enshrined in a Name


Image from the Iranian National Socialist Party

Since the time of Zoroaster (circa 1000 BC), Iranians have called their country “Aryānām” (the equivalent of “Iran” in the proto-Iranian language). Iran was the name used by its native people. It means “Land of the Aryans” in Persian.

In the early 1900’s and on, Iran aligned itself with various foreign governments to balance the influence exerted by the British and Russians. They increasingly came under the influence of Germany who played on their identity as Aryans to form an alliance.

Aryan race became almost solely defined by racialist thought with the rise of Adolf Hitler who espoused the belief that Germanic peoples were superior racially. This concept was promoted among Iranians during this period.

In 1933, the year Hitler came to power,  the Third Reich began to publish a racist magazine titled lran-e Bastan (The Ancient Iran). The journal was financed by Siemens-Schukken and pro-Nazi Iranian intellectuals. It referred to Hitler as “one of the greatest men in the world.” It depicted him as the man who ended the alleged 200 year old plot by Jews against the nationalities of the world, especially the Aryans.

The journal also claimed that the swastika was a symbol of Iranians from 2000 years before Christ and they rejoiced over its use as a symbol of German pride and of unity between the Iranian and German peoples.

In 1935, Reza Shah asked foreign delegates to refer to Persia as Iran. The Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs then requested that all foreign embassies in Tehran refer to the country as Iran and they obliged. [Iran ChamberSociety]

The suggestion for the change of the country’s official name to Iran is said to have come from the Iranian ambassador to Germany, who came under the influence of the Nazis.

German friends of the ambassador convinced him that the name change would free his country from the past influences of the British and Russians. It would be a new beginning as an Aryan nation.

Many Persian elites and intellectuals nurtured the idea of Aryan superiority.

“Germany was our age-old and natural ally, Love of Germany was synonymous with love for Iran. The sound of German officers’ footsteps was heard on the shores of the Nile. Swastika flags were flying from the outskirts of Moscow to the peaks of the Caucasus Mts. Iranian patriots eagerly awaited the arrival of their old allies. My friend and I would spin tales about the grandeur of the superior race. We considered Germany the chosen representative of this race in Europe and Iran its representative in Asia. The right to life and role was ours. Others had no choice but submission and slavery. We discarded the old maps and remade Iran into a country larger than what it was in Achaemenian times.”

-Reza Shah

Advocating the common Aryan ancestry of ‘the two Nations’ … the Reich Cabinet issued a special decree [in 1936] exempting Iranians from the restrictions of the Nuremberg Racial Laws on the grounds that they were ‘pure blooded Aryans.'”

In 1939, the Nazis provided Persians with what they called a German Scientific Library. The library contained over 7.500 books carefully selected “to convince lranian readers…of the kinship between the National Socialist Reich and the “Aryan culture” of Iran.”  In various pro-Nazi publications, lectures, speeches, and ceremonies, parallels were drawn between the Shah of Iran and Hitler, and praise the charisma and virtue of the Fuhrerprinzip [Fuhrerprinzip is the principle that the führer’s word is above all written law]. [military]

Hitler became a national Iranian hero as he talked about their mutually oppressed Aryan peoples.

By 1939 Germany surpassed Russia as Iran’s major trading partner. There were rumors that there were large German enclaves in Iran. Reza Shah openly admired Hitler’s Aryan race propaganda. Those forces gave the Russians and British a reason to invade Iran on the 25th of August 1941.

After the allied invasion of Iran in 1941 and later, after Iran nationalized the oil industry, the country gained fame and the name Iran stuck, Persia was rarely used.

A failed attempt to turn it back to Persia was made by the Shah in 1959.



  1. Well here’s a couple of things though.
    First, Iran declared neutrality during the second world war. At least provide a source for your quotation of Reza Shah, because, considering that Reza Shah did not discriminate between Jewish people who lived in Iran and others, he is not likely to brag about Aryan origins.
    Second, didn’t Nazis believe that even if Iran once was home to Aryan people, the then Iranians had mixed blood and so white Germans were “superior” and more “pure” ?

        • Yes, but the Japanese were no biological Aryans and they were not allowed to live there for a long time, unlike Iranians who could have permanent residence. Most of the Japanese in Germany were officers sent there on duty for a long period of time.

    • Ethnic Persians of today do not have mixed blood, they are still vastly similar to the ancient Persians. Genetic DNA studies show this.

      The Nazis never considered or cared either way. According to their Racial theory, Iranians were Aryans. Other non-European Aryans include Afghans, Armenians, Indians, and Kurds, but they thought that Iranians were the purest of them, and on-par with the European-Aryans, thus repealed all Nuremberg laws on them, thus essentially allowing them to have the same rights and privileges as Germans.

    • iranian people have aryan roots, first word about “aryan” appeared on bistoon in iran. and basically this word “iran” extended from arya word and iran word means “aryan land” . who said it that aryan people are white or black???, nazi goverment said this thing . what was their measurement? when aryan people came to iran , some native people lived in this land and they mixed with pure aryan people AND in germany was too!!! some aryan people migrated to germany from iran and they mixed with native people that lived there i mean in germany.

      • Are you saying you look like girls from the German League? DNA? Germans are like Alpine cows not desert camels. I don’t support your backward ways. Iconic hijabs of FGM. You salut Hitler to this day when you still raise your arms in and out of Iran. We all know the BS you are trying to pull. Pull off your own nation and identity not someone else’s.

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