Iran is often the victim of stereotypes which are paradoxical: represented as home to violence, a "dark" medieval-religious revolution, and to an homogeneous, static society, since the Nineties Iran has fit the cliché of a "country in transition from tradition and modernity", being represented as "schizophrenic", dichotomist, divided between traditional, religious aspects and the spirit of modernity. The justification of such a representation is the supposed gap between the rules set by the regime and the real behavior of the people. This narration of Iran, "the world of paradox", tells us only a por tion of the reality, giving up the restitution of complexity. Restarting from history and geography, this essay mentions some aspects of the "Iranian complexity" (people’s heterogeneity and strong nationalism; hegemonic ambitions and "strategic solitude"; social transformation and regime support) enlightening the coexistence of conflicting elements.
Keywords: Stereotypes Complexity Geography Social transformations