Aim. We have recently determined the optimal cut-off of the homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance for the diagnosis of insulin resistance (IR) and metabolic syndrome (MetS) in non-diabetic residents of Tehran, the capital of Iran. The aim of the present study is to establish the optimal cut-off at the national level in the Iranian population with and without diabetes. Methods. Data of the third National Surveillance of Risk Factors of Non-Communicable Diseases, available for 3,071 adult Iranian individuals aging 25-64 years were analyzed. MetS was defined according to the Adult Treatment Panel III (ATPIII) and International Diabetes Federation (IDF) criteria. HOMA-IR cut-offs from the 50th to the 95th percentile were calculated and sensitivity, specificity, and positive likelihood ratio for MetS diagnosis were determined. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves of HOMA-IR for MetS diagnosis were depicted, and the optimal cut-offs were determined by two different methods: Youden index, and the shortest distance from the top left corner of the curve. Results. The area under the curve (AUC) (95%CI) was 0.650 (0.631-0.670) for IDF-defined MetS and 0.683 (0.664-0.703) with the ATPIII definition. The optimal HOMA-IR cut-off for the diagnosis of IDF- and ATPIII-defined MetS in non-diabetic individuals was 1.775 (sensitivity: 57.3%, specificity: 65.3%, with ATPIII; sensitivity: 55.9%, specificity: 64.7%, with IDF). The optimal cut-offs in diabetic individuals were 3.875 (sensitivity: 49.7%, specificity: 69.6%) and 4.325 (sensitivity: 45.4%, specificity: 69.0%) for ATPIII- and IDF-defined MetS, respectively. Conclusion. We determined the optimal HOMA-IR cut-off points for the diagnosis of MetS in the Iranian population with and without diabetes.