Here we will take a quick look at the history of Iran – or Persia, as it was known in the West until the 1930s – from the foundation of the Persian Empire until the present. It outlines the main features of Iranian history and society which also include an account of Iranian myths and legends as well as Iranian cults and religions, both pre-Islamic and post-Islamic. There are differences of opinion, not least among historians themselves, as to how history should be written or what constitute “real” history. Some put much value on descriptive accounts of events and usually regard detailed or micro-historical studies as the right approach to historiography. To them, the discovery of a hitherto unknown fact, however minute, may be more important than a new analytical insight into broad historical trends. Others put much less emphasis on the facts, and tend to use brushstrokes to map out the canvas of history, searching for how and why things happened. We think that the history must have real empirical content, I also believe that it must include analytical insights, which makes sense of the facts and distinguish history from intelligent and disciplined storytelling.