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By Ervand Abrahamian

ISBN-10: 1107385792

ISBN-13: 9781107385795

In a reappraisal of Iran's sleek heritage, Ervand Abrahamian strains its tense trip around the 20th century, during the discovery of oil, imperial interventions, the rule of thumb of the Pahlavis and, in 1979, revolution and the delivery of the Islamic Republic. within the intervening years, the rustic has skilled a sour battle with Iraq, the transformation of society below the clergy and, extra lately, the growth of the country and the fight for strength among the outdated elites, the intelligentsia and the economic center category. the writer is a compassionate expositor. whereas he adroitly negotiates the twists and turns of the country's nearby and overseas politics, on the center of his ebook are the folk of Iran. it truly is to them and their resilience that this e-book is devoted, as Iran emerges before everything of the twenty-first century as some of the most robust states within the center East.

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48 And indeed, when the 1930 Anglo-Iraqi treaty was concluded, not one clause of the document dealt with, or even mentioned, the Kurds. 49 The problem was that when it came to implementation, governmental efforts were either non-existent or at best half-hearted. The Kurds’ abiding problem was that, contrary to the Shi‘ites, there was almost no political constituency in Iraq that cared at all about Kurdish political or cultural rights. 50 On the whole, the British were more sensitive to Kurdish political and cultural demands than the Arab government and population in Iraq.

The King was wary about rejecting Khalisi’s nomination, but was equally disinclined to appoint a non-Iraqi to the position. So he sought the intervention of ‘Ali al-Bazargan, an influential urban Shi‘ite politician, who was able to come up with an Iraqi candidate acceptable to the cleric. ”54 As for the tribes, what emerged was a rough balance between pro-clerical and pro-British tribes, and this was well-illustrated early in Faysal’s reign. When the Saudi Ikhwan mounted a raid into Iraq’s Euphrates area in the spring of 1922, in which over 700 Iraqi villagers were killed, the mujtahids called a conference in the holy city of Karbala, in which a number of tribal leaders gave pledges to fight the Ikhwan under orders of the mujtahids.

From the very beginning of the Iraqi state, and carrying into the first decade and a half of its life, there existed a sense of almost irrevocable fracture between the state, whose institutions, as we shall see in more detail in Chapter Four, were being increasingly molded by an exclusivist Arab ideology, and the ethnically distinct Kurds, whose isolation from the Arab majority was reinforced by the inaccessibility of the mountainous terrain they inhabited. CONSOLIDATING THE MONARCHICAL STATE 29 THE STATE AND THE SHI‘ITES While divisions between the Sunni community, whose members permeated authoritative state institutions, and the majority Shi‘ite population never acquired the rigidity of the Arab Kurdish divide, the two Arabicspeaking groups nevertheless eyed each other with much mistrust that at times expanded into outright hostility that erupted into violence.

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A History of Modern Iran by Ervand Abrahamian


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