Iranians in Iraq
||It has been suggested that this article be merged with Moaved. (Discuss) Proposed since October 2013.|
|500,000 - 1,000,000|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Karbalā', Najaf, Baghdād
Baṣrah, Wāsit, Maysān
|Persian, Lurish, Arabic|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Persians, Lurs, Iraqis|
Historically, Iran has been greatly affected by Mesopotamia. During ancient times, parts of Iran were ruled by the Sumerians, Akkadians, and Babylonians for centuries. The Neo-Assyrian Empire controlled Persia for three centuries.
One of the policies implemented by the Assyrian rulers to subdue the peoples of the conquered lands was mass deportations. In 744 BC, Tiglath Pileser III deported 65,000 people from Iran to the Assyrian-Babylonian border at the Diyala river. Two years after that, In 742 BC, he deported 30,000 people from Hamath, Syria and into the Zagros mountains in the east. These two incidents give an example of the mixing that happened during that era.
After about two millennia of Mesopotamian dominance, the first Persian dynasty came to power around 550 BC; the Achaemenid dynasty. Since Babylon was the largest city at that time and the centre of science, art, and politics, it became the winter capital of the Achaemenid Empire. The Achaemenids absorbed the Mesopotamian culture and contributed to it, and during their reign, many Persians settled in Mesopotamia. The Achaemenid rule lasted for two centuries before their empire fell to Alexander the Great.
The second Persian empire was the Sassanid empire, which was established in the third century and also ruled from Mesopotamia since its capital was Ctesiphon. The Sassanid Empire lasted until the year 651, when it collapsed to the Arab tribes from Arabia and southern Mesopotamia, who established the caliphate.
During the medieval ages, and after the fall of the Umayyad Caliphate, the Abbasids established their empire in Iraq around the year 750. The Abbasid rule lasted for five centuries and their empire encompassed a region stretching from China to the borders of Spain at its greatest extent. As a result Iraq became the political, religious, and educational centre of the world at that time, and people from all around the empire had economic and political ties with Baghdad, including the Persians.
After World War I, the region was invaded by the British and the French. The Sykes-Picot Agreement defines the present-day borders of the countries that have been part of the Ottoman Empire. In 1920, the Great Iraqi Revolution took place, and it resulted in greater autonomy for Iraq and Faisal ibn Husayn installed as a king. Iraq gained official independence from the British in 1932, and since then, there has been a dispute over the Khuzestan region. Iraqi governments considered Khuzestan to be a part of Iraq that was given to Iran by the British. The situation escalated to be one of the reasons of the Iran-Iraq war in 1980, which resulted in mass deportations of Persian families from Iraq to Iran.
Following the fall of the Ba'ath regime in 2003 and the empowerment of Iraq's majority Shīʿa community, relations with Iran have flourished in all fields.
The Persian settlement in Iraq, historically known as Mesopotamia, has chiefly been in Najaf and Karbala, which are the religious centres of Shi'ism. The number of Persians in Iraq today is around 500,000.
Persians in Iraq do not segregate themselves as an ethnic minority, but they integrate with the Iraqi society. Millions of Iranians visit Iraq every year, for religious, cultural, social and business activities. Many families are spread between Iraq and Iran.