Synopsis

While Syrian and Iraqi Kurds battle against the Islamic State organisation, Sunni Muslim Iranian Kurds are campaigning for greater rights within the mainly Shiite Islamic republic. President Rouhani’s approach appears to be producing results. العاب بلاك جاك

Commentary

 

MORE THAN than three years into Syria’s brutal civil war, Syrian Kurds have carved out an entity of their own close to the border with Turkey. Their battle against Islamic State, the jihadist group that has conquered chunks of Syria and Iraq, for Kobani, a stone’s throw from the Syrian-Turkish border, symbolises Syrian Kurdish aspirations. It has galvanised Turkish Kurdish emotions at a time of fragile peace negotiations between Turkey and the insurgent Kurdish Workers Party (PKK).

 

Across the border in northern Iraq, Iraqi Kurdish militiamen or Peshmerga, (those who confront death), man the frontlines against the jihadists in defence of their semi-state. Meanwhile the Peshmerga’s allies, the 60-country coalition the United States has marshalled against Islamic State, seek to ensure that Iraqi Kurdistan remains part of a restructured Iraqi state.

 

Pacifying Minorities

From their vantage point, Iranian Kurds who account for 11 percent of Iran’s 77.5 million inhabitants, are no less fervent about their aspirations but keen to avoid the chaos and violence enveloping their Syrian and Iraqi brethren. To them, Iran’s Islamic republic, established with the fall of the Shah in 1979, constitutes a bulwark against the violence that has enveloped much of the Middle East.

 

Yet, the Iranian Kurdish campaign, rooted in a bloody insurgency in the first decade after the toppling of the Shah, goes to the core of identity issues fuelling conflict across the Middle East; it poses no less a challenge to an Iran that has long denied its minorities communal political rights. Their decades-old struggle takes on added importance in a country in which 50 percent of the population belong to non-Persian minorities and a region in which ethnicity and sectarianism are redrawing borders. لعبة الكازينو

 

Suppression of the Iranian Kurdish insurgency in the 1980s was but one instance of post-revolution Iranian efforts to pacify the country’s minorities amid suspicions that Iran’s multiple distractors had sought to fuel ethnic unrest. Iraq launched in 1980 its eight-year long Saudi- and Kuwaiti-backed war against the newly established Islamic republic – in the vain hope that the predominantly Arab population of the southern Iranian province of Khuzestan would rise in revolt and welcome Iraqi troops as liberators.

 

Iran suspects the United States of supporting Jundallah, a shadowy group that has claimed responsibility for more than 350 deaths in a series of bombings since 2007 in Sistan and Balochistan, Iran’s largest, most impoverished predominantly Sunni, south-eastern province.