August 12, 2014

Why Iran Fears Iraq's Kurds

Marjan Namazi, The Daily Beast

The Associated Press

Shamkhani is a moderate military figure and usually appears in public wearing civilian clothes, but when he met Barzani he was dressed in full navy uniform. “I intentionally met with Nechirvan Barzani in uniform so that he would understand that for us the integrity of Iraq is important,” Shamkhani said three days after the meeting.

That a top-ranking Iranian official has resorted to sartorial symbolism reflects just how overwhelmed Iran has been by the twin crises of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Malaki’s failed leadership and the Kurdish move to hold a referendum on independence. For Iran, an effective Kurdish secession from the Iraqi central government would be deeply alarming, with reverberations far beyond simply Iran’s reach across a fragmented Iraq.

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TAGGED: Iran, Iraq, Kurds, Kurdistan

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