Between two and five million Iranians live abroad, the bulk of them in the US, while Canada, the UK and other European countries also hold sizeable communities.
Many left after the Islamic revolution in 1979, when the pro-Western Shah was swept aside, and remain solidly opposed to Iran's clerical government.
But a new generation, raised in the West yet influenced by the Iranian values of their families, is beginning to address the thorny issues of identity and belonging.
Seven Iranians from different parts of the world told the BBC about their relationship with the land of their birth and their sense of identity.
The readers' panel has been selected from as wide a cross-section of people as possible and may not be representative of wider public opinion.