Iran and Iraq: Religion, War, and Geopolitics
Iran and Iraq, though neighbors for many centuries, share both a common and a contentious history. Though both are Muslim nations, they have long been divided by their differing affiliations with the Shia and Sunni branches of Islam and by a cultural tension between Persian and Arab. These tensions have occasionally erupted into all-out warfare, most recently in the 1980s, when half a million Iraqis and Iranians were killed in a decade-long war. Today, however, following the toppling of the repressive Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein, Iraq's previously oppressed Shia majority is forging ties with Shia-dominated Iran and creating a new, potentially destabilizing balance of power in this part of the Middle East. This book explores the long, rich, complex, and charged history between these two Muslim nations and analyzes what path they seem to be heading down in the future, a journey that has weighty consequences for the western world and the United States.
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Afghanistan Ahmadinejad Al Qaeda Arab attacks axis of evil Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini Baathists Badr Brigade Baghdad Basra border branch of Islam Chapter Three Chapter cleric coalition forces conflict cooperation Dawa EFPs Exiles Chapter Three fighters Grand Ayatollah improvised explosive device influence in Iraq insurgents invaded invasion of Iraq Iran and Iraq Iran-Iraq Iran-Iraq War Iranian influence Iraq’s Iraqi Exiles Chapter Iraqi Exiles Iran Iraqi forces Iraqi Shia ISCI ISCI’s Islamic Republic Islamic Revolution Israel Jafari Khatami Mahdi Army Middle Eastern Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim Muhammad mullahs Muqtada al-Sadr Muslim Najaf neighbors Northern Alliance opposed Persian Gulf president Quds Force region Retrieved August 2008 Revolutionary Guard roadside bomb Saddam Hussein Saddam Hussein’s regime Sadr City SCIRI shah Shia clergy Shia Islam Shia militia Shiites southern Iraqi Sunni and Shia Supreme Council Supreme Leader Taliban Tehran Three Chapter Three troops U.S. forces U.S. officials U.S.-led invasion weapons