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  #1  
Old 04-20-2003, 03:46 PM
mangeorge mangeorge is offline
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Iraq and Iran re-unified?

How far apart, culturally and philosophically, are Iraq and Iran? Especially right now, with so many Iraqis seemingly ready for an Islamic government?
Would the rest of the middle east (and the rest of the world) allow such a potentially powerful alliance?
This does call for an answer, but if it is more an IMHO, and a mod sees it, please move it for me.
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  #2  
Old 04-20-2003, 03:52 PM
Ringo Ringo is offline
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Well, the Iraqis are arabs while the Iranians are persian. They haven't gotten along too famously in the past. The Iraqi muslims are majority Sunni, while the Iranian majority is Shi'ite. I see many obstacles.
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Old 04-20-2003, 03:59 PM
everton everton is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ringo
The Iraqi muslims are majority Sunni, while the Iranian majority is Shi'ite.
That's not correct is it? One of the recent problems in Iraq was that the outgoing government were dominated by Sunnis, but they were/are actually an ethnic minority within the country as a whole.

I agree there are lots of problems though.
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Old 04-20-2003, 04:01 PM
Reeder Reeder is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ringo
The Iraqi muslims are majority Sunni, while the Iranian majority is Shi'ite. I see many obstacles.
No, they are majority Shi'a..according to the CIA WorldBook entry for Iraq the religious breakdown for Iraq is as follows.

Muslim 97% (Shi'a 60%-65%, Sunni 32%-37%), Christian or other 3%

http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/...k/geos/iz.html
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Old 04-20-2003, 04:09 PM
Ringo Ringo is offline
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That's what I get for going from memory. Nevertheless, I'll stick with my original assessment that sticking Iran and Iraq together isn't going to go smoothly.
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Old 04-20-2003, 04:12 PM
jimmmy jimmmy is offline
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Re: Iraq and Iran re-unified?

Quote:
Originally posted by mangeorge
How far apart, culturally and philosophically, are Iraq and Iran? Especially right now, with so many Iraqis seemingly ready for an Islamic government?
Even if every Shite in Iraq welcomed their non-Arab co-religionists fully, 40%ish of the population is not shite and could be expected to resent being pulled into a union.

I would expect this idea to be especially troublesome to the Kurds who have thier own problems with Iran and the 100's of thousands of people who lost relatives in the Iran-Iraq war 15-20 years ago

Quote:
Originally posted by mangeorge
Would the rest of the middle east (and the rest of the world) allow such a potentially powerful alliance?[/B]
No.
I would be less suprised by a splintering of Iraq into Kurdish, Shite or Sunni countries than if this flew. Heck I'd be less surprised by a Syrian or Kuwati pan-arabist union idea being seriously floated than this
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Old 04-20-2003, 04:12 PM
mangeorge mangeorge is offline
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I didn't see the arab/persian thing as much of an obstacle, but it surprises me that being of different Islamic sects would be. That's naivete on my part, though. They don't appear to be ready to get along even in Iraq, regardless of the seeming advantages of cooperation.
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Old 04-20-2003, 04:30 PM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
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I have a name for the new country: Iranq!
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  #9  
Old 04-20-2003, 04:39 PM
The Calculus of Logic The Calculus of Logic is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ringo
Well, the Iraqis are arabs while the Iranians are persian. They haven't gotten along too famously in the past. The Iraqi muslims are majority Sunni, while the Iranian majority is Shi'ite. I see many obstacles.
Its the Syrians who are majorly Sunni (74% of the population).

This is pretty pathetic though, having to worry about racially & religiously segregating nations in the 21st century.

Iran has been an islamic dictatorship for 23 years. Iraq has been a relatively secular dictatorship for 23-35 years. There has been a giant war between the 2 states, and the populations are of different ethnic and somewhat different religious groups. I see strife between the 2. Not only that, but there is alot of grassroots discontent over the islamic dictatorship in Iran, i don't know if all the Iraqis want to join that type of national government.

Their governments seem to be on different ends of the political spectrum. In Iran, people were fed up with modernization & secularism, so they overthrew the gov. in 1979 and an islamic dictatorship was established. Now many of the poeple are sick of the islamic dictatorship. If the Iraqi people really want an islamic dictatorship then Iraq seems to be in 2003 in the same position Iran was in in 1979.
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Old 04-20-2003, 05:40 PM
John Mace John Mace is online now
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The US would certainly never allow it.

Remember, Iran is a charter member of the Axis of Evil. We wouldn't bump one country out of the Axis only to let it slip back in by way of another Axis country.

And, if I'm not mistaken, the Sunni "minority" is further splintered into Arab/Kurd-- ie, Kurds are Sunni, too. The % of Iraqis who are Sunni AND Arab is much smaller than Reeder's numbers might imply.
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  #11  
Old 04-20-2003, 05:46 PM
handy handy is offline
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"while the Iranians are persian."

Iran used to be Persia. Can you still refer to them as 'persians'?
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  #12  
Old 04-20-2003, 05:58 PM
John Mace John Mace is online now
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Handy:

The important thing is that they are NOT arabs.

The few folks I've known from Iran preferred the term "Persian" over "Iranian". Admittedly a small sample size, but that's what I go on. Similarly, the language is still called Farsi, not "Iranian".
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  #13  
Old 04-20-2003, 06:04 PM
handsomeharry handsomeharry is offline
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i've had a few iranian girlfriends and they call themselves persians.
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  #14  
Old 04-20-2003, 06:34 PM
mangeorge mangeorge is offline
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I worked with a man from (pre-ayatollah) Iran who also referred to himself as Persian. There were a few Iraqis around, and they seemed pretty friendly with him. They all did the prayer thing every day, and Ramadan.
Religion is hard for me to fully understand.
I also worked with an Egyptian man, also a muslim. He saw the others as ok, if a little backward.
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Old 04-20-2003, 06:45 PM
Tamerlane Tamerlane is offline
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One should note that a very sizeable segment of Iran's population, about 1/4, are Turks ( Azeri and Turcoman ). In a sense they can be considered the co-dominant ethnic group with the Persians ( who make up a little over half the population ). Before the Pahlavi period and excluding the very brief dominance and "regency" of the Zand's, Turkic groups ( or Mongol in 13th/14th century ) supplied every dynasty in Persian history from the mid-11th century to the 20th ( the Pahlavi were the first ethnically Persian dynasty in Persia since the overthrow of the Buyids by the Seljuqs ). The Turks generally formed the military/political elite, while the Persians supplied the educated, administrative elite ( of course this is not the case any more ). So strictly speaking, referring to Iranians generally as "Persians" might be accurate from old-fashioned geographic sense, but not necessarily from an ethnic one.

And this is without even mentioning Iran's numerous other minorities.

Anyway, that aside, no I think a straight-up merger of Iraq and Iran in this day and age is not feasible, for a whole slew of reasons ( including the ethnic, cultural, political & religious ). The Sunni Arab and Kurdish regions would balk tremendously. Even the merger of an Islamicized, Shi'ite southern Iraq with its co-religionists in Iran is probably not very likely. There are still cultural and ethnic differences - S. Iraq quite famously did not rally to the side of Iran when they counter-invaded the south during the Iran-Iraq War. Times may have changed views somewhat, but a strongly suspect any Islamic state in the south would probably prefer independance and alliance with Iran, rather than absorption and becoming just another ethnic minority group.

At any rate, no, nobody in the region would accept such a possibility. The potential damage to the local balance of power would be too great ( assuming Iran could actually absorb Iraq without being immediately convulsed in a civil war ).

- Tamerlane
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  #16  
Old 04-21-2003, 11:42 AM
nonsmokingmirror nonsmokingmirror is offline
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Re: Re: Iraq and Iran re-unified?

Quote:
Originally posted by jimmmy
Even if every Shite in Iraq welcomed their non-Arab co-religionists fully, 40%ish of the population is not shite and could be expected to resent being pulled into a union.
It's important to stick the second i in Shiite (Shi'ite)... otherwise the above sentence becomes very amusing for Irish and British people.

Look it up if you don't know what I mean... :O)
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