The Persian language is derived from the ancient Irani, or Aryan, people, who came from Turkestan in Central Asia to a mountainous region between the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea. They became to be known as Persians because Greek geographers named them after their province of Parsa, where the capital of these people lay.
At the height of its power 2500 years ago, the Persian empire extended from what is now Pakistan to the Nile and parts of northern Africa. Today, the proud Persian people primarily inhabit what was once the heartland of that empire, the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Some scholars believe that these Aryan people are the ancestors not only of present day Iranians, but also Greek, Hindu, Latin, Celtic, and Anglo-Saxon people.