Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Kurds Revive the Kurdish Question

This is something I've certainly wondered about:

To be sure, [Iranian Kurds have] waged a low-level insurgency off and on with the Iranian regime for decades, but it’s held steady at a low simmer for some time. This summer, however, something seems to have changed.

Also this summer, the U.S. unilaterally withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, better known as the Iran nuclear deal. This may not be a coincidence. Washington this month reapplied the first of two batches of sanctions on the Iranian regime, and it makes sense that the U.S. would be exploring other means – beyond economics but short of direct war – to destabilize the regime. There’s reason to believe it may have found such a means in the form of Iran’s Kurds.

Remember that the Kurds are 10-15% of Iran's population. Iran itself is the remnant of the Persian Empire where Persians are only about half the population, if memory serves me.

Given that Iran was behind the Iraqi seizure of Kirkuk and surrounding areas from Iraqi Kurds, Iraqi Kurds are probably happy to help their Iranian brethren.

And America's large consulate and an air base in Iraq's Kurdish region are relevant.

Building on the prominence of Kurds in Iraq and Syria in defeating ISIL, the reputation of the Kurds would be enhanced with any successes the Iranian Kurds have in taking Iran down a peg or two.

Which would add to Turkey's incentive to be on better terms with NATO lest the emboldened Kurds with chits to cash in might try to bring in the sizable Kurdish population of Turkey into a long-desired state carved from Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran.