The comics were generally well received in Western countries following its release. For example, TIME included the first part in its "Best Comics of 2003" list. Andrew Arnold of TIME described the Persepolis as "sometimes funny and sometimes sad but always sincere and revealing." Kristin Anderson of The Oxonian Review of Books of Balliol College, University of Oxford said "While Persepolis’ feistiness and creativity pay tribute as much to Satrapi herself as to contemporary Iran, if her aim is to humanise her homeland, this amiable, sardonic and very candid memoir couldn’t do a better job."
In March 2013, the Chicago Public Schools controversially ordered copies of Persepolis to be removed from seventh-grade classrooms, after CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett determined that the book "contains graphic language and images that are not appropriate for general use."