The Iranian peoples or Iranic peoples are a diverse Indo-European ethno-linguistic group that comprise the speakers of Iranian languages. Their areas of settlement were on the Iranian plateau (mainly Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) and certain neighbouring areas of Asia (such as parts of the Caucasus, Eastern Turkey, Northeast Syria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Oman, northern Iraq, Northwestern Pakistan reflecting changing geopolitical range of the Iranian dynasties and the Iranian history. Their current distribution spreads across the Iranian plateau, and stretches from the Caucasus in the north to the Persian Gulf in the south, and from the Xinjiang in the east to eastern Turkey in the west – a region that is sometimes called the “Iranian cultural continent”, or Greater Iran by some scholars, and represents the extent of the Iranian languages and significant influence of the Iranian peoples, through the geopolitical reach of the Iranian empire. The Iranian peoples comprise the present day Persians/Tajiks, Pashtuns, Ossetians, Kurds, Balochs, Zazas, Lurs, Pamiris and their sub-groups of the historic Medes, Massagetaes, Sarmatians, Scythians, Parthians, Alans, Bactrians, Soghdians and other people of Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Iranian plateau. Other possible groups are the Cimmerians who are mostly supposed to have been related to either Iranian or Thracian speaking groups or at least to have been ruled by an Iranian elite.
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