17 OCTOBER 1941, Page 14


Snt,—Excuse me please, but by not printing my letter on the vexed question of whether the term Iran or Persia should be used, you are displaying both ignorance and prejudice of a very bad kind. Why display such a profound contempt for Truth? You only make your- self and the paper you edit ridiculous by doing so. I have already pointed out to you that the term Persia, derived from the classical Persis, which at one time signified only the province of Parsa, now Fars, is never used by the Iranis or by the inhabitants of neighbour- ing countries. The people of this country are Iranis and their country Iran. The word Persia is utterly foreign to them and they could not even pronounce it correctly. This word is only employed by foreigners. I notice that The Times newspaper has not yet dis- played the prejudice -and ignorance which you are showing. You can ignore history, you can ignore the opinions of people who should know, you can ignore the wishes of the people of Iran, but not even The Spectator will succeed in foisting a word on to them that is utterly meaningless to them and never appears in any of their ancient sacred writings. Iran means something to these people; Persia means nothing to them. But please carry on, Sir, with the good work of keeping the English public in ignorance and darkness.— [We shall—in company with the Prime Minister.—En., The Stectator..]