War and political persecution led thousands of Iranians to migrate to Sweden in the 1980s and 1990s. Forced to flee from their homeland to a relatively unknown place, the lives of these migrants changed both abruptly and dramatically. Since their arrival in Sweden, and up to the present day, Iranians have struggled to negotiate their relationship to both their home- and host land. Iran-focused associations, oriented toward both Sweden and Iran simultaneously, have aimed to capture the transnational positioning of this diverse group. Today in Sweden there are more than one hundred Iranian-focused organizations catering to the community’s cultural, political, social, and economic needs. Based on an in-depth analysis of nine associations in five cities in Sweden, this article explores how Iranian-focused organizations have developed over the past two decades and how they reflect identity issues within Sweden’s Iranian community. It is argued that Iranian identity is not static but, rather, has been both internally and externally defined in a transnational field influenced by changing home- and host-land identity politics.

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