Thursday, June 26, 2014

Briefly: This is the Biggest Mistake for Ever, if the USA Would Empower Iran Again in Iraq.

The current tension in Iraq, is the best historical moment for international community to kick out Iran from Iraq and consequently ease the tension in Syria, Lebanon and Palestine. I hope those policy makers involved in this matter, understand this opportunity and use it in an appropriate and professional manner. The international community including the USA should not preserve and maintain Iran's puppet i.e. Al Maleki government in Iraq.

M. Sirani                            26.06.2014

Friday, June 20, 2014

The New Trick of Tehran; The International Community Should Not Be Misled.

The Iranian Regime is trying to maintain its power and influence in Iraq by all means. Deploying the Quds Force entity into Iraq, bargaining about its nuclear activity, and asking help and support from the USA could be understood in this direction. In addition to these efforts, the Islamic Regime is trying to use Ayatollah Sistani in this matter. The recent event, the one that Ayatollah Sistani has criticized Al Maleki should be understood in this regard. This is the new trick of Iran and Moghtada Sadr in order to preserve the power in the hand of Shiite minority in Iraq. The international community should not be misled by such tactics.

M. Sirani                                20.06.2014

Religion Matters, When It Comes to the Current Civil Wars in Syria and Iraq.

The essay below is an analysis about the final stage of conflict between the USA and Iran amid Iran's nuclear ambitious activity. In this essay, i have predicted that there is high probability that the USA would finally militarily attack Iran's nuclear facilities. My prediction in this matter might not come true. The reason that i have re-uploaded this essay again is not that point. The important point is the role of religion in the foreign policy of the Iranian Regime. This issue is clearly tangible and visible with regard to the behavior of Iran in both civil wars in Syria and Iraq as well. I suggest the curious readers to read that part of my essay, if they don't want to go through whole essay; a part that explains how the policy makers in Iran look at the current tension in Syria and Iraq based on Shiite mythology. This part of my essay shows that Shiite religion and its mythology play an important role in the foreign policy of the Islamic Regime.

M. Sirani                                    20.06.2014  

Will the US attack Iran?

Mehran Sirani                                             01.11.2012                           


Iran’s nuclear activity is one of the main topics of discussion amongst most politicians around the globe. This issue has generated enormous fear and uncertainty amongst some policy makers, particularly amongst those officials in the strategic region of the Middle East. In response, Iran continuously insists that the nature of its nuclear activity is peaceful and the country does not have any plan to build a nuclear weapon. On the other hand, after many years’ efforts, still the IAEA has not been able to verify the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear activity, due to the lack of full control and access to all Iran’s nuclear plants and programmes. Consequently, so far, the US and the EU have enforced severe diplomatic pressure and enormous economic sanctions on Iran. However, despite all these hard pressures, Iran not only has not stopped or reduced its nuclear activities; instead, it has intensified its nuclear programmes at one of its underground nuclear facilities i.e. Fordo. The combination of all these issues has made Iran’s nuclear activity more suspicious and dubious. It seems that Iran is moving towards building a nuclear weapon. This is something that is unacceptable for most of the countries around the world including the US. Regarding Iran’s nuclear activity, there are two general opinions amongst most of the people. The first group believes that the current situation is very critical and Iran would finally stop its nuclear activity. The second group argues that Iran would not halt its nuclear activity and the country is trying to acquire the nuclear weapon. In response to the first group, we can argue, if Iran stops its nuclear activity, then the problem has been solved. Regarding the premise of the second group then, we are facing a serious question as follows: will the US attack Iran? This paper will attempt to find a convincing answer to this important question (Aei, 2012; Sirani, 2012).       

3- Main Discussion: Will the U.S. attack Iran?
In order to find a reasonable answer to this question, we need to have some knowledge about the mindset of decision maker in the US. In other words, how would the U.S. policy makers perceive the current nuclear dispute with Iran? In doing so, it would be helpful to use a theoretical framework, which has been introduced by Steve A. Yetiv in 2004. Through this framework, Yetiv has analyzed the main causes of the US invasion to Iraq in 2003. Although, there are many differences between that war and current tension between the US and Iran in different terms, but this framework, to some extent might help us to find a convincing answer to our main question. However, Yetiv’s framework consists of three theoretical models, which all of them should be examined parallel to each other and simultaneously. These theoretical models include 1- The Rational Actor Model (RAM), 2- the Groupthink Model and 3- the Cognitive Model (Figure 1) (Jackson & Sørensen, 2010).

   Analyzing the possibility of a war

The Rational Actor Model

  The Groupthink Model

   The Cognitive Model

    The Causes of 


Figure 1: Yetiv’s framework for analyzing the possibility of a war (Jackson & Sørensen, 2010).

3.1. The Rational Actor Model (RAM):
The main structure of the RAM model is based on realist point of view. According to this model, the anarchic nature of the international system forces states to rely on self-help, in order to achieve and protect their national security and interest. In the anarchical international system, a state, based on rational choice would go to war, if it recognizes that its vital national security or interests are in jeopardy. Thus, in the international system: war is always a possibility. With this brief explanation, let us examine the possibility of the US war against Iran within the RAM model. So far, the nuclear activities of Iran have been causing many tension and uncertainty in the international arena, particularly in the strategic region of the Middle East. The US (i.e. policy makers in the USA) knows that a nuclear-armed Iran would dramatically change the balance of power in the Middle East. Such change in the first place, would weaken and threaten the superiority-security of Israel as the US closest ally in the region. On the other hand, a nuclear-armed Iran would also threaten the security of some other oil-rich states including Saudi Arabia in the Gulf area. This event, as a result, would accelerate a nuclear arms race amongst other states in the Middle East. Such a nuclear arms race in an area, which supplies large amount of oil and gas to the rest of the world would automatically threaten the global economy too (Jackson & Sørensen, 2010; Nti, 2012; Sirani, 2012).

This brief explanation shows that the RAM model faces a serious dilemma. On the one hand, as we know, most of the realist scholars including Kenneth Waltz are the proponents of a nuclear-armed Iran idea. These scholars claim that a nuclear-armed Iran would create the balance of power between Israel and Iran in the Middle East. As a result, this issue would promote peace and stability in the region. From this point of view, based on the RAM model, we can deduce that the US would not attack Iran. However, on the other hand, a nuclear-armed Iran would lead the Middle Eastern countries towards a nuclear arms race. This event, consequently, would threaten the national security-interest of not only the oil-rich states in the Middle East but also other countries around the globe, which are dependent on oil, and gas of this region (Jackson & Sørensen, 2010; Pbs, 2012).   

Moreover, there is tremendous fear about the growing activities of fundamentalist non-state actors such as Al-Qaida in the region and access of these fanatic groups to any types of weapons of mass destruction including nuclear weapon. This is also a crucial issue for most politicians in the world including the policy makers in the US. If, for instance, Iran obtains nuclear weapons and after a while, this political system would face a serious political turmoil, some radical Islamic non-state actor or some fundamentalist faction within this political system might have access to the nuclear bomb in the country. In this case, what would happen? How would the international community be able to control this nuclear-armed fundamentalist group? The combination of all these issues, would automatically threaten the national security and interest of the US and its close allies in the region. In this case, based on the RAM model, we can conclude that the US would attack Iran, in order to protect the national security-interest of itself and its close allies in the Middle East. As illustrated above, the RAM model faces a serious dilemma and gives us two contradictory outcomes of negative and positive conclusions about the possibility of this war (Jackson & Sørensen, 2010; Pbs, 2012).   

3.2. The Groupthink Model:
This model focuses on the mindset and perception of small group of advisors, who their opinions to some extent would influence the process of decision making for war. These advisors (Think Tanks) might work in the private sector, some government bureaus, university departments or some public institutions. This group of advisor provides useful information and consultation on different international issues for states. We should bear in mind, that any miscalculation or misperception in these advices, could lead the process of decision making towards an unnecessary and devastating war. The US invasion of Iraq in 2003 would be a clear example of such erroneous decision. Regarding that war (2003), Yetiv claims that a small group of advisors mistakenly convinced President Bush that the economic sanctions against Saddam’s regime would not function anymore. As a result, the president Bush approved an unnecessary and costly war against Iraq without any further consultation even with some of his experienced staffs including C. Powell and N. Schwarzkopf (Jackson & Sørensen, 2010).       

Based on some reasons, analyzing the possibility of the US war against Iran within this particular model, would be difficult too. One of the main reasons is the broad range of foreign policy advisers with different IR theoretical thinking within Obama’s administration. The simultaneous presence of some leading realist figures such as Z. Brzezinski and B. Scowcroft and some liberal internationalists such as S. Rice and H. Clinton within this administration portrays an image that it seems; Obama’s administration is swinging between realism and liberal internationalism approaches in terms of its foreign policy. This bipolarity makes our analysis within this model a little bit more difficult. Consequently, we are left with some unanswered questions including: who would be the main and final advisor/advisors regarding this war? Would these advisors have a realist or liberalist understanding about the international system? Which one of these approaches would be the dominant idea in the final stage of the decision-making? (Antiwar, 2012; Jackson & Sørensen, 2010).      

3.3. The Cognitive Model:   
This model focuses on the individual key decision-maker, in this case the President Obama, who can profoundly change the course of the decision-making process regarding this issue. In order to analyze the possibility of the US war against Iran within this model, we need to find reasonable answers to some questions including: How does Obama perceive the current tension with Iran? Does Obama use any historical analogy regarding this war? What kind of images does Obama have about this tension? Are these images derived from accurate information through an authentic source or are mixed by fake and bias information? Answering these questions is not also an easy task, because it requires some confidential information, which unfortunately is beyond our access and authority (Jackson & Sørensen, 2010).
The lack of such confidential information limits the scope of our analysis within this model. This issue compels us to rely on some information about Obama, which we have observed in the past four years of his presidency. In this case, we can argue that there are two different images from Obama. On the one hand, Obama is a president that:
He has racked up some notable successes, including significantly weakening al Qaeda, effectively managing relations with China, rebuilding the United States' international reputation, resetting the relationship with Russia and ratifying the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), achieving a UN Security Council resolution imposing harsh sanctions on Iran, completing overdue but welcome free-trade accords, and withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq”      (Foreignaffairs, 2012).

Based on this statement, Obama is a liberal internationalist. From this characteristic, we can deduce that Obama would prefer to solve the current nuclear dispute with Iran through a diplomatic and peaceful manner. On the other hand, we have seen another face of Barack Obama, which to some extent undermines the previous deduction. Obama’s hasty reaction to Hosni Mubarak, the former Egyptian president, and the US military intervention in Libya that led to regime change in this country portray another image about Obama. From these examples, we can assume that Obama has some tendency towards liberal interventionism approach too. However, whether Obama is a liberal internationalist or a liberal interventionist or combination of both these approaches, we should bear in mind some important points. Firstly, these different approaches do not mean that Obama will continue to this diplomatic struggle with Iran in an infinite period; since every diplomatic effort, even a diplomatic marathon type (i.e. a long-term negotiation) has a time limitation, particularly when it comes to sensitive and crucial issue like the nuclear weapon. Secondly, these approaches do not signify that Obama would always solve every tension in a peaceful and diplomatic manner. Regarding Iran’s nuclear activity, Obama has clearly expressed his opinion in different occasions and publicly announced that, the US prefers to solve the nuclear dispute with Iran through a diplomatic manner, but all of the options including the military action are still on the table. Moreover, recently, Obama has strongly emphasized that the clock is ticking and as long as he is the president, he would not allow Iran to obtain the nuclear weapon. Thirdly and in addition to all explained above, we should also bear in mind this part of M. Doyle’s statement, when he claims: “Liberal democracies are as aggressive as any other type of state in their relations with authoritarian regimes and state less peoples” (Jackson & Sørensen, 2010; Nytimes, 2012; Dune, 2008, p.113).

3.4. The Summary of Yetiv’s Framework:
In the last three sections, we have tried to find a convincing answer to our main question within Yetiv’s framework. Through this framework, we have examined the possibility of this war within three separate theoretical models. The result of its RAM model led us towards two contradictory negative and positive conclusions about the occurrence of this war. The results of two other analyses of the groupthink and cognitive models also could not give us a concrete and precise answer about the possibility of this war, due to the lack of access to some confidential information within Obama’s administration. However, in general, the results of Yetiv’s framework bring us to some important points. Firstly, it indicates that a nuclear-armed Iran to some degree would threaten the national security and interest of the US and its close allies in the Middle East. In other words, if Iran would not agree to stop its secret and mysterious nuclear activities, there would be some possibility that the US will attack Iran (Jackson & Sørensen, 2010).

Secondly and more generally, Yetiv’s framework might have been helpful in case of analyzing the US invasion to Iraq in 2003, but it cannot be a universal and comprehensive theoretical tool to use by every analyzer (with all respect to Yetiv) in every case study; due to some complications in its groupthink and cognitive models. As illustrated above, these two models can be examined properly, only by those analyzers who have access to some confidential and secret information, in our case study, within Obama’s administration. The lack of such important information undermines the accuracy and efficiency of Yetiv’s framework. This shortage of knowledge, as a result, creates extra complication for us. For example, in the current situation, there are some important events going on in the international arena. Each one of these events to some extent might increase or on the contrary, decrease the possibility of this war; but within Yetiv’s framework, we cannot evaluate them. The current global economic stagnation is one of these events. Within this framework, we cannot analyze, whether the current global economic stagnation would be a driving force towards this war, or on the contrary, this issue would prevent the war. The second event is ongoing severe civil war in Syria as one of Iran’s closest allies in the Middle East. Within this framework, again we cannot figure out whether this issue would increase the possibility of this war or not? Although, analyzing the effect of current economic stagnation on the possibility of this war is beyond the scope and format of this paper, but the recent conflict in Syria is an important issue, which should not be overlooked. In order to find out how current tension in Syria might increase or decrease the possibility of this war, we should turn our attention to the mindset of policy makers in Iran. In other words, what is the final goal of policy makers in Iran? How would the policy makers in Iran perceive the current tension in Syria? The next section shall analyze these issues.   

4- The Mindset of Policy Makers in Iran:
The ideological foundation of the Islamic Republic of Iran is based on the Shia branch of Islam. The Shia Muslims in Iran (Mostly Twelver) are the followers of the twelve descendants of the Prophet Mohammad. According to Shia mythology, some three centuries after the death of the Prophet Mohammad, the twelfth Imam (Mahdi) went into an indefinite period of occultation. The fundamental belief of Shia branch is as follows: when the world is full of injustice, inequality, and violence, Imam Mahdi will return and fill the world with justice and prosperity for all people, through the establishment of an Islamic state on Earth. Based on this theological doctrine, the Islamic Regime has been trying to expand its influence and hegemony beyond its own geographical borders, particularly in the Middle East. This religious expansion is a celestial duty for the Islamic Regime and it pursues a sacred goal: the establishment of a Shia Empire in the region. Two of the most important functions of this Shia Empire would be as follows: 1- It would facilitate the advent of Imam Mahdi and 2- It would provide the necessary assistance and support to Imam Mahdi, when he will return from occultation. Iran precisely knows that the achievement of such a divine and important goal without the nuclear weapon is almost impossible. This is the main reason behind Iran’s nuclear activities. However, different evidences indicate the fact that recently despite enormous diplomatic pressure and severe economic sanctions, Iran not only has not reduced its uranium enrichment programmes, instead it has accelerated its nuclear activities, for example at Fordo underground facility near Qom city (Afshari, 2011; Aei, 2012; Sirani, 2012; Eteghad, 2012).

This issue raises a serious question. Why Iran does not halt or reduce its nuclear activity, despite all these diplomatic and economic sanctions? The answer to this question has direct connection with current civil war in Syria and Shia group uprising in Yemen. As we know, from early days of the Islamic Revolution, the policy makers in Iran have been trying to hold a durable, solid, and close tie with Syrian regime. This close relationship between Tehran and Damascus can be understood partly within the concept of a stronger strategic partnership against Israel. However, this is not the whole story; since, there is some other important reason beyond this inseparable strategic partnership. According to different hadiths in Shia branch of Islam, the righteous movement in Yemen and bloody civil war in Syria are amongst five events, which would occur before or during the emergence of Imam Mahdi (Eteghad, 2012; Sirani, 2012).
According to one of these hadiths:

One example of the direct help that Imam Mahdi will receive from Allah s.w.t. will be his defeat of Sufyaani. Sufyaani will be a man from the family of Abu Sufyan, and he will emerge from Damascus and conduct a ruthless campaign of bloodshed and mass killing, during which thousands of innocent people will be slaughtered. He will be supported by the people of the tribe of Kalb.

Sufyaani will dispatch his army to Mecca in order to destroy Imam Mahdi, however Imam Mahdi’s army will easily defeat Sufyaani’s army. Sufyaani will then lead a separate contingent of his remaining army to face Imam Mahdi himself. This army will subsequently be destroyed by an enormous earthquake at Baidaa on the road to Mecca” 
(Al-Shia, 2012).

It seems unrealistic for us, but this is the way that the policy makers in Iran perceive the Shia uprising in Yemen and the current civil war in Syria. In fact, the policy makers in Iran have a strong belief that currently, the Sufyaani army (i.e. the Syrian Liberation Army and those states who support them) wants to defeat Syrian regime and after that, this army will move to Mecca in order to kill Imam Mahdi. Therefore, defending Assad’s regime would become a divine duty for policy makers in Iran, which has to be fulfilled at the expense of everything, in order to save Imam Mahdi. In fact, the combination of the current civil war in Syria, Yemen and the Arab spring has portrayed an image in the mind of religious policy makers in Iran that these rallies across the Middle East arise from the chaos of the final war. In other words, according to Shia mythology, we are close to the advent of Imam Mahdi or the Day of Judgment. Thus, based on Shia eschatological philosophy, Iran should defeat its enemies and establish a new world order; a new world without war, injustice and inequality (Williams, 2013; Al-Shia, 2012; Eteghad, 2012).
This is an important matter that most of the scholars and politicians do not pay attention to it.
Based on all explained above, we can deduce that Iran’s eschatological war, across the Middle East including in Syria has begun. In the mind of policy makers in Iran, this is the historical-religious moment that Iran should acquire the nuclear bomb in order to accomplish its divine mission. Therefore, the chance that Iran would stop or reduce its nuclear activities is very low. As a result, we can expect that eventually, these diplomatic negotiations will also reach a dead end somewhere in the future. In this case, there is high probability that the US will attack Iran. The next section shall discuss this issue (Williams, 2013; Sirani, 2012).   

5- The Reaction of the US:  (If Obama wins re-election):
Obama knows that a military strike on Iran would increase the price of oil and this event would consequently deepen the global economic stagnation, at least for a while. Moreover, he does not want to repeat the same mistake that his ancestor (former President Bush) did and dragged the country into an unnecessary and costly war. Furthermore, he is fully aware that there is ongoing political transformation in different parts of the Middle East and a new war would generate more chaos and instability in the region. On the other hand, a nuclear-armed Iran would threaten the security of other states in the region and consequently would spark a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Such nuclear arms race would jeopardise not only the national security but also the national interest (e.g. oil and gas) of the US and its close allies in the region. This is a dangerous issue and a clear red line for Obama, particularly, since most of the states in the Middle East to some extent have been challenging by different radical Islamists non-state actors inducing Al-Qaida. However, after a while, Obama will come to the final point that the costs of waiting for sanctions to function are increasingly surpassing the benefits and the Islamic Regime is an intransigent regime, which cannot be trusted and negotiated anymore. In this case, against his own will, Obama will go to war against Iran somewhere in the future (Jackson & Sørensen, 2010; Sirani, 2012).

Through this war, Obama will try to minimize the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran in the Middle East. In fact, this war will be an instrument for the US in order to achieve a political and rational purpose; and that is to protect and maintain the national security and interest of the US and its close allies in the Middle East. From this, we can conclude that the US involvement and its perspective about this war will be based on the political philosophy and understanding of war (Williams, 2013).

As Michael Sheehan also states:
“Wars are fought for reasons. The Western understanding of war, following Clausewitz, sees it as instrumental, a means to an end. Wars in this perspective are not random violence; they reflect a conscious decision to engage in them for a rational political purpose. They are rationalized by those who initiate them by appeal to belief and values systems” (Sheehan, 2008, P. 214).

In this essay, i tried to find a convincing answer to the question of whether the US will attack Iran or not. In doing so, i used Yetiv’s framework. Within this framework, i examined the possibility of this war within three separate theoretical models. The result of its RAM model was a dual negative and positive conclusion about the occurrence of this war. The results of two other groupthink and cognitive models within this framework were also unclear and uncertain, due to the lack of access to some important and confidential information within Obama’s administration. These ambiguities compelled me to turn my attention to the other actor of this tension i.e. Iran. My aim was to find out how the policy makers in Iran perceive the current tension. The result showed that there is some connection between the current tension in Syria and Iran’s nuclear activities. Moreover, it showed that this connection stems from ideological characteristic of the political system in Iran, which compels Iran to move faster towards acquiring the nuclear weapon. From this, it can be concluded that the chance that Iran would stop or reduce its nuclear activity is very low. Consequently, this issue would force Obama to go to war against Iran. Through this war, the US would try to delay the Iranian nuclear weapon programmes or possibly destroy the entire Iran’s nuclear facilities. Some of the consequences of this war would briefly be as follows. The result of such military strike would be devastating in different terms for both sides. Many people, mostly Iranian would lose their life during this war and the effects of nuclear particles and radiation would pollute the country in the years ahead. Iran might not be able to compete with high technological military equipments of the US, but the country has some powerful weapons to retaliate, which should not be underestimated. The first and important weapon is that Iran would carry out a proxy war in the whole Middle East by using its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Ghods elite force and other Shia militia groups including Hezbollah. The second and important weapon of Iran is the vulnerability of the Strait of Hormuz. Iran would easily close this strategic part of the world. So far, Iran has accumulated large amount of oil in the fixed storage in the Khark Island (23 million barrels) and its floating oil tankers in the Persian Gulf. Iran would easily spill some amount of this oil in the Persian Gulf and burn them. In this way, Iran would be able to close the Strait of Hormuz, at least temporarily for a while. However, the hostility between Iran and the US will continue more or less until the final days of the Islamic Regime in Iran (Sirani, 2012).

M.Sirani                   01.11.2012                                                                                                                                                         


Afshari, R. (2011). HUMAN RIGHTS IN IRAN: THE ABUSE OF CULTURAL RELATIVISM. Published by University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia

Al-Shia. (2012). The Emergence of Imam Mahdi.

American Enterprise Institute. (2012). Iran has only accelerated its nuclear activity.

ANTI WAR. (2012). Liberals, Realists Set to Clash in Obama Administration.
URL:<>. Accessed on: 20.10.2012.

Dunne, T. (2008). Liberalism. In: Baylis, J. & Smith, S. & Owens, P. (4th ed). THE GLOBALIZATION OF THE WORLD POLITICS: An introduction to international relations, p. 108-122. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Eteghad. (2012). The Emergecne of Imam Mahdi.
URL< >. Accessed on: 20.10.2012.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS. (2012). Scoring Obama's foreign policy.

Jackson, R. & Sørensen, G. (2010). Introduction to International Relations Theories & Approaches, 4th EDITION. Published in the United States by Oxford University Press Inc., New York.

NTI. (2012). Obama Pledges to Prevent Nuclear-Armed Iran.
URL:<>. Accessed on: 19.10.2012.

PBS NEWSHOUR. (2012). The Upside of a Nuclear-Armed Iran: A Chat With Kenneth

Sheehan, M. (2008). The changing character of war. In: Baylis, J. & Smith, S. & Owens, P. (4th ed). THE GLOBALIZATION OF THE WORLD POLITICS: An introduction to international relations, p. 210-225. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Accessed on: 21.10.2012.  (This is a Persian language article about Iran’s activities in the Middle East including in Syria, which I published in the Persian websites).

Sirani, M. (2012).  How can Iran  close the Strait of Hormuz?
URL: <>. Accessed on: 25.10.2012
(This is a Persian language article about how Iran can close the Strait of Hormuz, which I published in the Persian websites).

The New York Times. (2012). Obama Rebuffs Netanyahu on Setting Limits on Iran’s Nuclear Program.

Williams, P, D. (2013). SECURITY STUDIES, AN INTRODUCTION.2nd EDITION. Published 2013 by Routledge, 3 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon, OX14 4RN.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

This is the Biggest Mistake, If the USA,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

This would the second huge mistake, if the USA would cover Al Maleki government i.e. Iran's puppet in Iraq. The international community can in the first stance, implement and perform a better plan to kick off both Iran and at the same time Sunni fundamentalist group from Iraq. As such, the international community would be able to create a buffer zone between Iran and Syria.  Should this happen, the international community would gradually be able to put an end to the bloody civil war in Syria . Following this event, the international community would be able to control and limit the power of Hezbollah in Lebanon and ease the tension not only in this country but also in some other neighboring countries such as Palestine and Israel.

I know this is a difficult task, but it is not impossible.

This is one of those historical moments that the international community can kick off Iran from Iraq. The international community couldn't create a buffer zone in Syria due to the different reasons, which are out of the scope of this short note. But achieving a new buffer zone, this time in Iraq is possible.

M. Sirani                                          19.06.2014    

The Current Tension in Iraq; A Clash Between Sunni ISIS and Shiite Al Maleki Government.

The experience of last couple of years in Iraq has clearly shown that the ridiculous type of Federalism based on race and religion not only does not function at all, but also has created extra problem for Iraq, all the neighboring countries and consequently for the whole international community. The tension between ISIS (Sunni group), Al Maleki government (Shiite group) and Kurdish region is escalating rapidly and this conflict is going to include the whole country and to some extent the neighboring countries as well. Some other external actors such as the Iranian Regime, Saudi Arabia and some other Arab countries are directly and indirectly involved in this conflict. This is a fact, which cannot be denied.

In such a conflictual environment, any military intervention, either by the USA alone or by a coalition of the USA and some European countries or by the United Nations Peacekeeping force would end up to a devastating fiasco. Because the main reason of this conflict lies in the wrong and ridiculous type of political system in Iraq. As such, before any intervention, the political system in Iraq should be completely reconstructed again. This means the international community should have a clear plan in this matter before doing any move in Iraq. Otherwise, Iraq would end up to either a total secession or a long term civil war for many years to come.

The U.S. should not repeat the same mistake that has done in 2003 in Iraq.

M. Sirani                                   18.06.2014

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Grievance of the Kurdish People. (Written in 2011.

    The Grievance  

  The Kurdish People

  The story of Kurdish people Uprisings and the Brutality of Islamic regime of Iran

Name: M. Sirani

Date of Submission: 14-04-2011

The history of 20th century is accompanied with some of the bloodiest wars in human history. Some of these wars occurred directly between two states and some of them like the first and second world wars included the whole world and the results have been devastating for all human community in different aspects. In addition to these wars, there are some other conflicts which might arise between different factions, groups, ethnics and nations in the same country which are known as civil wars. Singer & Small indentify four characteristics for a civil war. They states: 
“First, one of the primary actors in any conflict identified as a civil war must be the national government in power at the time hostilities begin. Secondly, the concept of war requires that both sides have the ability to inflict death upon each other….Thirdly, significant military action must take place. Only civil wars that resulted in at least 1,000 battle related deaths per year are included in the data set. This figure includes civilian as well as military deaths. Fourthly, the war must be internal to the country” (Collier & Hoeffler, 1998).
Based on this statement, it can be said that the life of Kurdish people has been accompanied with different civil wars in different geographical and historical occasions. Analyzing the situation of Kurdish people in general and particularly in Iran can illustrate some issues including: what might be the main causes of a civil war? Do poverty and the lack of good governance alone can cause a civil war? Can a civil war make the country vulnerable for a foreign threat? And how can a conflict be beneficial for a state as David Keen argues. He states: “that for significant groups this violence represents not a problem but a solution” (Keen, 2000).
These are some questions which this paper will attempt to analyze them through the story of marginalized Kurdish people. This paper: First, it will explain historical background of Kurdish people including their geographical locations, deprivation as well as their uprisings. Second, it will identify the main cause or causes of civil wars between Kurdish people and different states in general and particularly in Iran. Third, it will illustrate how Iranian regime used the event of war with Iraq as a legitimate tool in order to stabilize and maintain its authority as well as security and crushed the Kurdish uprising and other domestic opponents. Finally, it will be ended by conclusion part. Before we begin the main discussion, it would be useful to have some information about history of Kurdish people. This information can help us to understand how deprivation has caused the uprising and consequently civil wars between Kurdish people and different states.  

- Historical Background of Kurdish people:
Kurds are a large indigenous ethnic minority group who live in southwest Asia in an area geographically is known as Kurdistan. There are different estimations about Kurdish population but according to some data, Kurds are an estimate of 26 million Sunni Muslim people with their own language, culture and heritage which are the largest minority group who still don’t have their own independent country (Users, 2011). (See table 1).

                                    Table 1: Total Kurdish Population in 1998 (Users, 2011).

According to some historical fact, the firs division among Kurdish people occurred when in 16th century Safavid dynasty in Iran took the power. After many years border disputes, eventually in 1639 for the first time the Kurdistan was officially divided between two countries of Iran and Ottoman Empire. The end of the First World War was accompanied with the collapse of Ottoman Empire and consequently emergence of some new nation-states such as Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Syria and Kuwait in 1920. This was a hope for self-determination and creation of separate Kurdistan for Kurds as the Serves treaty promised them. But, the 1920 treaty of Sevres not only didn’t create a Kurdish state, instead for the second time divided the Kurdistan among five other states including Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran and Armenia (Kurdistanmedia, 2011). (See figure 1). 
                                   Figure 1: The Map of Kurdistan (Google, 2011).
- The situation of Kurdish People after 1920 Serves Treaty:
As mentioned above, the Kurdistan was divided among different countries including: Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran and small part in Armenia. In order to illustrate more our discussion, it would be useful to investigate the life of Kurdish people in some countries such as Turkey, Iraq and Iran. These examples have been chosen, because the majority of Kurdish people live in these countries.

- Kurdish People in Turkey:
After Sevres treaty, from total population of Kurds, almost 8 million of them were located in southeastern Turkey. In 1923, the nationalist Turkish leader Kemal Ata Turk (after Lausanne Treaty) rejected the Sevres treaty and reached an agreement with Iran and Iraq authorities on Kurds that these countries were not recognized a separate Kurdistan.  
The Turkish government treated the Kurds harshly and banned all Kurdish expressions including: art, music, literature, the use of mother tongue and wearing traditional Kurdish costumes in the cities. The government enforced the Kurds to migrate to the cities and called them “Mountain Turks” in order to dismantle Kurdish identity in Turkish society (cbpa, 2011).
These undemocratic and unjustified acts of Turkish authority caused series of uprisings among Kurds. Between 1920,s and 1930,s, the Turkish forces launched series of attacks against Kurdish people and crushed the Kurdish revolts. The Kurdish resistance in Turkey was slowed down until 1978 when Abdullah Ocalan established the Kurdish Workers organization known as the PKK. One of the main goals of the PKK was to create an independent Kurdistan. The 1980 military coup in Turkey made the situation of Kurdish people even worse and consequently intensified the tension between the PKK and Turkish authority. The PKK built its military bases in the borderline with Iraq and from 1984 began its armed struggle against Turkish forces. During these years, more than 30,000 people have lost their lives (Washington post, 2011).
In 1999, Ocalan was arrested in Nairobi and handed over to Turkish authority where he took the life sentence imprisonment. Today, the PKK is known as a serious threat for Turkish government and its activity also has caused some problems for Kurdish authority in the north of Iraq. One of the main problems is that The PKK uses the Turkey-Iraq border for its military operations, which is under the control of Barzani, s forces.
The other problem is that the PKK is not agree with self-government of Kurds within a federal Iraq and believes that an independent Kurdistan should be homeland for all Kurds. These issues are not so popular and acceptable among Kurdish leaders in Iraq and have escalated the tension between the PKK and the Kurdistan Democratic Party in Iraq too. Today, however, the situation of Kurds in Turkey has made some progress in comparison with 30 years ago, but the struggle of Kurdish people for their basic rights and needs is still continuing (Washington post, 2011).

- Kurdish people in Iraq:
The situation of Kurds in Iraq was not better than in Turkey and they experienced the same harsh and cruel treatment. In 1922, British and Iraq authority detached the Mosul (Oil-Rich Province) from Kurdistan to Iraq and in return, they promised the recognition of a Kurdish government within Iraqi borders. But later, Iraqi government ignored this declaration and when Kurds resisted, both British Royal Army and Iraqi forces crushed the Kurdish rebellion harshly (cbpa, 2011).
The struggle of Kurds in Iraq continued under the leadership of M. Barzani (The Kurdistan Democratic Party) and J. Talabani (The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan). In 1970, the Iraqi government granted the rights to Kurdish language and self rule, but the deal was again broken because of oil revenue. This event gave an opportunity to Iranian regime to support and use Kurds in Iraq against Iraqi government. In retaliation, Iraqi government forcefully deported 130,000 (According to some Kurdish media more than this number) Kurds to Iran in 1974 (Washington post, 2011).                 
During the 1980-1988 war, because the Kurds in Iraq were supported by Iranian regime, the Iraqi forces brutally burned, demolished the Kurdish villages and killed thousands of Kurds mostly civilians. In 1988, the world witnessed one of the most horrible and inhuman acts, when Iraqi army launched a poison-gas attack in Kurdish town known as Halabja. Through this barbarian act, more than 5,000 (According to some Kurdish media between 10,000 to 15,000 people) Kurds including men, women and children were massacred. (See figure 2 below). Consequently, just 2 million Kurds fled to Iran and many others left the country to some European countries. Following the invasion of Kuwait by Iraqi forces in 1991, the United States implemented a No Fly Zone north of the 36th parallel in the north Iraq and created a safe area for the Kurds (Washington post, 2011).              
                         Figure 2: Kurdish Mother and Child Victims in Halabja (Heise, 2011).
Following the invasion of the united State and its allies to Iraq, the J.Talabani and M. Barzani became the first president and the president of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan.

- Main Discussion: Kurdish People in Iran:
 - Before 1979: 
Both the shah and Islamic regimes have treated the Kurds in the same harsh and barbarian methods to some extend. The situation of the Kurdish people in Iran should be analyzed in two historical dimensions of before and after Islamic regime based on two main reasons. First, some of the problems related to the Kurdish people have some roots in the shah’s regime. Second, both of these regimes have their own characteristics which consequently have had different impacts in the life of Kurdish people in Iran.  
Kurdish nation struggles in Iran was coincided with the rise of nationalist thought in the Middle East and began in the late 19th century in 1883 onwards. In this period of time, Sheikh Obaidullah Nahri began his struggle for an independent Kurdistan against both Ottoman Empire (Today Turkey) and Qajar rule in Iran. Both armies of Turkey and Iran violently repressed the movement and defeated the Sheikh Nahri, s proponents and eventually, creation of an organized, comprehensive national Kurdish campaign became impossible (Kurdistanmedia, 2011).  
The end of the First World War was coincided with some events like the emergence of new states (as mentioned above), exploration of oil in Iran and a need for a powerful and centralized state in Iran. In 1925, Reza Khan Pahlavi (the father of the Shah) took the power and imposed modern nation-state building in Iran. This forceful project was resisted by different local powers in whole country including in Kurdistan. Ismail Agha Shakkak (A Kurdish Leader in Iran) raised widespread resistance against the central government and at the same time some other Kurdish groups challenged the new states of Turkey and Iraq (Kurdistanmedia, 2011).  
This simultaneous and widespread resistance in three countries was a historical opportunity which Kurdish people could achieve self-determination. But some domestic and international factors such as the lack of coordination and cooperation between Kurdish groups, weak sense of nationalism and solidarity among Kurdish masses, exploration of oil in Iran and Iraq, socialist revolution in Russia and power struggle between the West and East derived from the cold war caused that all these resistances in three countries eventually were defeated. In 1942, a group of Kurdish intellectual founded a secret organization which was called the Revival of Kurdish Population (Jameiyate Tajdide Hayate Kurd). After three years secret activities in 1945, the revival of Kurdish Population formed the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) under the leadership of Ghazi Mohammad (Kurdistanmedia, 2011).   

- Republic of Kurdistan in 1945: After the Second World War, for a while Iran officially was under the control of Soviet Union army in the North and United Kingdom in the south. This event coupled by some weaknesses of central authority gave opportunity to the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) backed by USSR to establish the republic of Kurdistan (Republic of Mahabad) and Mahabad (Name of a city in Kurdistan province) became officially the capital and Ghazi Mohammad was elected as the first president of the republic of Kurdistan. Such this event happened in the Azerbaijan province too. Eventually, in 1946, under the pressure of western countries, the Soviet Union pulled out its troops from Iran and these two movements in Kurdistan and Azerbaijan were left alone without any support in confrontation with powerful Iranian army backed by the western countries. Iranian army crushed these movements with intense brutality. Most of the leaders as well as members of these movements were hanged, imprisoned or fled the country. However the republic of Kurdistan lasted only for eleven months, but this event was and still is one of the historical and precious memories of all Kurdish people (Kurdistanmedia, 2011).
In order to understand why Kurdish people revolt, it would be useful to have brief information about the life of them in Iran before and after Islamic regime.

- The Main Causes Of Kurdish Revolt and civil War:
Michael Rose states that:
“It is important to emphasize two points. First, natural resources are never the only source of a conflict. Any given conflict is brought about by a complex set of events; often poverty, ethnic or religious grievances, and unstable governments also play major roles. But even after these factors have been taken into account, studies consistently find that natural resources heighten the danger that a civil war will break out…. Second, natural resource dependence never makes conflict inevitable. Resource wealth raises the danger of civil war” (Rose, 2003).
In this statement, Rose emphasizes on two important issues which are exactly compatible with both Iranian regimes before and after 1979 political turmoil. Rose not only identifies poverty, ethnic or religious dissatisfactions and unstable government as the min causes of any conflict, he also explores the connection between natural resource dependence and governance. Furthermore, he claims that natural resources cannot cause a strong and effective government, instead can create an inefficient government which suffers from some characteristics such as corruption, state weakness and reduced accountability (Rose, 2003).
Let us examine the Rose’s statement in regard to Iranian regimes.
During the shah’s regime, Iran was the world’s second oil producer after Saudi Arabia. The high price of oil generated huge amount of wealth and opportunity for Iranian regime. Due to this wealth, the shah spent billions of oil dollars just on militarization. In addition, this huge amount of oil dollars intensified the process of import (mostly) and export in Iran. This process generated new commercial elite which most of them were loyal relative and family members of the shah. This nepotism coincided with corruption in the whole system caused that a new commercial elite dominated the markets for different goods from military equipments to basic needs. In other aspects such as democratic institutions and political pluralism, Iran was a closed country. In the whole country were only three artificial political parties which were organized by the state and were completely loyal to the shah.  
These parties emerged with each others in 1977 and formed a new party which was known as Rastakhiz party and Iran became officially a mono-party state (Kepel, 2004).
The combination of all these elements created huge diversity and inequality in different terms in the country not just between classes but also between the cities. Most of the wealth, opportunities and possibilities in terms of job, health, education, industrial and service sectors were concentrated and distributed in the capital “Tehran” and just few major cities. Although, majority of the people in these cities were not able to use these opportunities equally, but the situation for people in the periphery cities and provinces including Kurdistan was worse. These issues can be generalized for Islamic regime too. These are some of my own personal experiences during my visits in Kurdistan before and after Islamic regime. During these trips (twice that took almost six months) I had opportunity to travel and live with people in different areas such as Sanandej, Saqqez, Bokan, Mahabad, Marivan and Baneh (some Kurdish cities).
In some places in these cities, people didn’t have proper sanitation and even tap water. In some of them, there was only a health center or a small inappropriate hospital which didn’t have proper instruments in term of quality and quantity to treat the patients. For some serious sickness or different surgeries, the people should travel to other big cities such as Uromieh, Tabriz or Tehran by their own expenses which cost them fortune. In term of job and economic opportunity, these areas were deprived too. As mentioned above, most of industrial and service sectors were centralized within and around the big cities and small number of factories and service sectors in these areas didn’t have enough capacity to provide job opportunity for most of the people.
The situation of people in countryside and villages was worse than in the cities. Some of these villages didn’t have proper road and in the winter time their roads toward the big cities was completely disconnected sometimes for couple months. They had primary agricultural sector and their cultivation was completely depend on rain without any irrigation system. In term of health and education the situation was the same. Some of the villages didn’t have any school at all and the children should walk every day in some area for couple kilometers in order to attend the nearest school in other villages. Kurds were not allowed to learn their mother tongue language in schools and the lack of higher education institutes enforced them to move towards the big cities in other provinces.
In fact the Kurdistan was one of the poorest neglected areas in Iran and Kurdish people had only a few limited options. They should either accept the situation the way it was without any objection or choose to enlist in the Kurdish rebel army against current regime. However, during the shah’s regime opposition faced harsh and severe punishments such as execution, long imprisonment, physical and mental tortures, but the struggle of Kurdish people for their basic rights and needs in Iran continued until 1979. Eventually, some issues such as poverty, unequal opportunity, the lack of democratic institutions, not just in Kurdistan but also in other provinces caused massive political unrest and consequently series of chained demonstrations enforced the shah to leave the country.
- After 1979:
The year 1979 is one of the darkest years in Iran’s history. This is the year of crisis and transformation from monarchy to Islamic regime. On January 1979, the Shah left Iran and his new chosen Prime Minister Shapour Bakhtiar couldn’t control the country anymore. Finally, the monarchy in Iran after 2500 years collapsed and one month later on February, Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran after 15 years in exile. On April the same year, a national referendum held in Iran which was consisted of only one question, Islamic republic: yes or no. The result was astonishing, when 98% of people voted for Islamic republic. This landslide victory gave a great opportunity to ayatollah Khomeini and his proponents to declare Iran as an Islamic state, a state, which all its institutions should be based on Islamic law and rules (Actnow, 2011).
Following the 1979 political transformation, the Kurdish people demanded their basic needs and rights peacefully and their main slogan was Autonomy for Kurdistan and Democracy for Iran. The negotiations between Kurdish representatives and Islamic regime were result less and the proposal of Kurds was rejected by Islamic regime. The ideological characteristic of Islamic regime (Shia Islam versus Sunni Kurd) intensified the tension and on 19th Aug 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini declared the “Holy war” against the Kurdish people. Following this event, in the beginning Basij militia (later revolutionary guard) with high tech weapons invaded the Kurdistan and repressed the Kurdish uprising (Kurdistan, 2011). In retaliation against Islamic regime and in order to defend the Kurdish people movement, some other Iranian opposition groups (including left and right) mobilized some of their members to Kurdistan and the Kurdish area became a platform for all Iranian opposition movement against Islamic regime. It was one of bloodies civil war in Iranian history and for a while some of the cities as well as the main roads in Kurdistan were under the control of rebels from different political parties. Before we continue this section it would be useful to explore an important issue.
As mentioned above, in addition to Kurdistan, there were (Still are) other deprived provinces in Iran for example Lorestan province, where I was born. The people in this province also suffered (still suffer) from poverty, inequality and deprivation and in fact Lorestan has been part of the Great Kurdistan in the past, but why this people didn’t struggle like Kurdish people in large scale for their basic needs and rights? Different scholars have tried to find a logical explanation for this question. Barbara Walter is one of them and according to her; two necessary conditions can cause a civil war. She argues:
“The first is a situation of individual hardship or severe dissatisfaction with one’s current situation. The second is the absence of any nonviolent means for change…a higher quality of life and greater access to political participation have a significant negative effect on the likelihood of renewed war” (Zartman, 2005).
This is a true statement, but definitely not comprehensive enough to be generalized as the only and main causes of a civil war. Of course some elements such as individual hardship, severe dissatisfaction and the lack of democratic institutions or weak state are some of the causes of civil wars, but the existence of just these two elements alone can not generate civil war. The case of people in Lorestan shows that in addition to these two conditions some other factors should be involved. As noted above, the people in this province also suffer from poverty, inequality and exclusion and to some degree are marginalized like Kurds, and both provinces are under the control of the same state, but they haven’t resisted the government as much as Kurds did and do. Undoubtedly, W. Zartman is one of the prominent scholars who have analyzed these issues in appropriate way. Zartman identifies three important factors of grievance, creed and greed as the main causes of conflict and defines them as:
“Grievances occur over a deprivation of basic needs of some sort, claims of rights based on identity react to discrimination, and greed over resources relates to opportunity…” (Zartman, 2005).

He argues that poverty can be one of the main reasons, but poverty alone does not create conflict, because there are many poor people who do not revolt. In term of claim for identity or creed he states that:
“Ascriptive identity is a quality specific to groups and can derive from race or ethnicity, but also from other fixed but less genetic attachments such as religion or nationality. Like need, creed itself does not provide conflict. It is only when two identities are in zero-sum relationship to each other----or when one cannot be oneself except at the expense of other’s being itself----or when need is restricted or targeted to an identity group that conflict arises”.
                                                                                                                                    (Zartman, 2005). Further, he continues that the lack of state authority and governance is a contributor to the conflict, but this issue alone always cannot generate the conflict too. Instead, he claims that the state weakness can create a vacuum of power, which can be used by a political entrepreneur to mobilize the population into violent conflict based on deprivation exist in the society (Zartman, 2005).
Zartman statement answers our question why people in Lorestan do not revolt as much as Kurds do in proper way. The main reasons between these two provinces lie in the ascriptive identity matter and leadership agent. First, the people in Lorestan do not identified themselves as a separate nation from Iranian and they believe that they are Lor (an ethnic group) within Iranian multicultural society. Second, most of people in Lorestan are Muslim Shia like most of the people in Iran and this religious characteristic does not create any serious problem for them because according to the constitutional law before and after 1979, the Islam Shia was and is the official religion of the country.
Third, the people in Lorestan have not had effective political entrepreneurs to use the deprivation existed in this province and mobilize them in large scale against the government. 
Therefore, they haven’t felt themselves as a discriminated group in Iranian society and do not resist against the state as much as Kurds do. But the situation of Kurds is completely difference. They identify themselves as the Kurds (although Kurdish identity has been completely denied in Turkey for example) and are Sunni Muslim. Therefore, they feel themselves as a discriminated nation among other Turkish, Syrian and Iranian nations. These issues accompany with total deprivation have made the Kurdish people a neglected and separated nation among these states. The combination of all these issues has caused an endless conflict between Kurdish people and other states of Turkey, Syria and Iran and this struggle still is continuing.    

- Iran- Iraq War (1980-1988):
Undoubtedly, the war between Iran and Iraq is one of the longest and bloodiest examples after Vietnam War which occurred in the latest decades of 20th century. Some factors such as border disputes (1975 Algiers treaty), religious (Sunni versus Shia) and political differences, personal animosity between Saddam and Ayatollah Khomeini (Khomeini was 15 years in exile in Iraq) were the main causes of the war. Some other characteristics including the weaknesses in different institutional frameworks in new regime (Islamic regime) and civil war in Kurdistan intensified the tension and made the country vulnerable to war. The combination of all these issues provided a good opportunity for Saddam and eventually on September 22, 1980, Iraqi air force attacked Iran’s air bases in different cities and officially the war between two countries began (Globalsecurity, 2011).
The war lasted for almost eight years and caused cultural, social, economic and political damages for both countries. During all these years more than one million people from both sides were killed, wounded and millions of civilians were forced to leave their hometown which some of them fled the countries. During these eight years war, twice one in June 1982 and another in April 1984, Baghdad proposed peace negotiations and withdrawal of all its forces from Iran but both peace proposals were rejected by Islamic regime (Globalsecurity, 2011).
As explained above, the event of the war was coincided with some political unrest and instability in Iran and in fact one of the main reasons that Islamic regime rejected the peace proposals was its domestic political instability. Before the war, the struggle of opposition against Islamic regime in Kurdistan prevailed and the number of individuals who joined different opposition groups in Kurdistan increased almost daily. It can be said if the war didn’t begin; the Islamic regime would not retain its sovereignty at least in Kurdistan. The event of war facilitated the best possibility for Islamic regime and changed the course of history in the country.
In the name of fight with foreign threat, Islamic regime mobilized all its forces including, Basij, Revolutionary Guard, Army with high tech weapons and invaded the west area including the Kurdistan. Through this invasion, most of the Kurdish villages and cities were completely demolished by air strikes and artillery shells fired by Islamic regime army and according to some data over fifty thousands people mostly civilians were killed or forcefully displaced (Kurdistan, 2011).
As Keen states the event of the war was a top-down violence which did not cause any problem, but it offered a god excuse for Islamic regime to solve some of its domestic problems with cruelty (Keen, 2000).
The oppression of Islamic regime was not limited in Kurdistan and war areas, it included the rest of the country and massive arrests began. During these periods, tens of thousands political opponents arrested (including myself), most of them were executed and some who were lucky fled the country. This was a moment that societal security in different terms was sacrificed for state security as Ole Wæver states (Wæver, 1998).

- The Massacre of Political Prisoners in1988:
Eventually in 20 Aug 1988, Islamic regime under the international and internal pressures accepted 598 resolution imposed by United Nation Security Council and cease-fire between two countries was implemented (Globalsecurity, 2011). The war officially was finished, but other unfinished business for Islamic regime still was remained and that was the existence of thousands political prisoners, whom could be a serious threat for Islamic regime after peace agreement. In July 1988, Ayatollah Khomeini declared a Fatwa and consequently the horrible crime against humanity and genocide in Iran happened. In the summer of 1998, thousands of political prisoners faced short, superficial and unfair trials (according to some witnesses just two or three minutes) (Robertson, 2010). During these trials, the prisoners were asked some questions such as: do you still support opposition? Do you believe in Islam? Are you ready to sacrifice yourself for Islamic regime or not? During this bloody summer, thousands innocent political prisoners (4000 to 7000) were executed (Irantribunal, 2011).

In conclusion I have to imply that poverty and weak government alone cannot generate a civil war. The history of Kurdish people in general and the comparison between two provinces of Kurdistan and Lorestan in Iran confirm the idea that in addition to poverty and the lack of good governance, other elements such as identity and political entrepreneurship play an important role in forming a conflict. In addition, the case of war in Iran shows how a civil war can make the country vulnerable to an external conflict and how a state can intentionally prolong the external conflict in order to solve its domestic issues with full brutality and cruelty.
Here, I have to emphasize that the struggle of Kurdish people for their basic rights and needs is still continuing even in Iraq, where the Kurds have achieved their own semiautonomous territory. Recently, some hundreds Kurds protested in Sulaimaniyah (city in Kurdistan Iraq) and demanded for political reforms from their regional government. During this demonstration two people were killed and 47 injured (msnbc, 2011). Generally I have to admit that the story of the Kurdish people is a huge challenge for international community and will remain as a major source of tension and destabilization in this region, if we cannot find a fundamental solution for that.  

M. Sirani                  11.03.2011                    Norway

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