Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Iranian Balkanization?

The New York Times offers a telling snapshot of Ahvaz, a majority Arab Iranian city near the Iraqi border, where a growing protest movement has lately been shut down by security forces.


The biggest trend in politics for the last 150 years has been the break-up of multi-ethnic, multi-linguistic states into smaller and more homogenous units as people demand more control over their own lives. And Iran is one of the world’s most vulnerable states to this trend, with Azeris, Kurds, Balochs, and many other minority groups under the corrupt, heavy-handed and often not-very-effective rule of the mullahs.

If it is true that the era of Sykes-Picot is coming to an end in the Middle East and that states like Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq are going to have their boundaries redrawn, it is hard to see how this process can be stopped at the Iran-Iraq border. The Iranian Kurds want independence, and many of Iran’s Arabs would gladly join with their Shi’a Arab brethren (and fellow tribesmen in many cases) across the boundary.

Iran’s own meddling has played a major role in the breakdown of order across the region and the enflamed identity politics now plunging country after country into terrible wars.

Can the mullahs play with fire and not be burned?


sykes.1 said...

It's hard to see how the US escapes breakup, too.