Domestic Threats to Iranian Stability: Khuzistan and Baluchistan

(Institute for Contemporary Affairs/JCPA) Michael Rubin - The Islamic Republic of Iran is facing a new wave of domestic violence, with multiple bombings in the provinces of Khuzistan and Baluchistan in the past six months. While the recent terrorism may have some ethnic or sectarian component, Iranian nationalism trumps ethnic separatism. When Iraq invaded Iran in 1980, Saddam Hussein sought to play the ethnic card. The Iraqi leader portrayed himself as the liberator of the Khuzistani Arabs. His rhetoric backfired. Rather than divide Iran, he unified it. Any U.S. or Western attempt to play an ethnic card in Iran will backfire and betray not only the Iranian people, but also long-term Western interests. All data suggest that the majority of Iran's youth long for the freedom enjoyed in the West. This does not suggest that they are not patriotic; Iranian nationalism is a strong force. When the Islamic Republic collapses, a strong unified Iran will be a force for stability and a regional bulwark against the Islamism under which the Iranian people now chafe.

2005-11-11 00:00:00

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