It’s ‘ee-RON,’ not ‘eye-RAN’ and other names and countries that Americans mispronounce

BY newsdesk  November 25, 2013 at 5:19 PM EDT

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
The correct way to pronounce the name of Iran’s supreme leader is “ah-lee hah-men-ey-ee” and not “allie komonny.” Video still by PBS NewsHour

Finding yourself in a heated debate about the Iran nuclear deal? Now you can settle one argument: The country’s name is pronounced “ee-RON,” not “eye-RAN.”

The Washington Post’s Max Fisher rounded up 26 foreign countries and names that Americans tend to mispronounce. The majority of the countries can be found in the Middle East and Asia. Fisher also included some helpful tips if you find yourself discussing National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden around the Thanksgiving table this week. He detailed how to skillfully pronounce the Moscow airport where Edward Snowden resided for more than a month and the names of the international leaders at the center of the NSA controversy. For instance, Angela Merkel, the German chancellor who ignited an international backlash against U.S. spying on foreign leaders, is pronounced “ahn-GAY-luh M’AIR-kuhl.”