Conflict in the Middle East

By: Greg Chalmers

Critical Thinking

Why do we have countries?

We have countries because that way we can choose to live in different ways. Each country is different witch gives wide variety for people to choose from to live in.. We have countries because some people want to live in a democracy than a dictatorship, for example. Some countries have split because of war because those people want to live differently than how they lived in their previous countries.
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This is a picture of Tehran, the capitol of Iran.

What influences the boundaries between countries?

Physical boundaries like rivers and mountains help make boundaries because of how easy it is to make. Political boundaries, often called borders, are created by two countries. They are often changed by wars and treaties.

What conflicts may occur because of these boundaries?

Wars can occur because of boundaries, many times because of resources. For example, maybe Brazil wants oil from Venezuela's coastline, so they attack and push back the boundary of Venezuela.

Current Conflicts

KDPI Insurgency

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The war on the Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran lasted until 1989- 1996. The conflict was caused by the assassination of KDPI leader Abdul Rahman Qassemlou. This caused Kurdish Soldiers to revolt and launch attacks and raids on Iranian military bases in Kurdish areas of Iran. Rebellions caused by KDPI followers erupted across Syria, Iran, Turkey, and Iraq. The Iran army tried to maintain the rebellious Kurds in Kurdish areas and 10,000 Kurds were killed in the process. Obviously the Kurd were outraged and killed many Iranian Soldiers and civilian.

This led Iranian soldiers to assassinate Sadegh Sharafkandi another leader of the KDPI. Many other political leaders who favored the Kurds and helped them were assassinated. This lowered morale and the Kurds lost many times to the powerful Iranian Soldiers. The conflict slowly became smaller and smaller until the Kurds had nothing. Eventually KDPI could not function militarily and announced a cease-fire in the summer of 1996.

Revolvy, LLC. ""KDPI Insurgency (1989–96)" on" KDPI Insurgency (1989–96). CC-BY-SA, n.d. Web. 20 Sept. 2016.

Riots of 2009

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On the morning of June 17, 2009 chaos erupted on the streets of Tehran as protesters covered the city. Riot Police armed with batons and riot shields defended the politics who are rigging the voting program. Protesters are burning vehicles and molotovs are being thrown. There is a miniature war happening in Vanak Square, Tehran.

All of this has happened because of Mir Hussein Moussavi and his stolen vote. His competitor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has won the election, but not allowed into office. Hussein lost by about 30%, but with the aid of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, they intervened and rigged the voting program, to put Hussein in office. With Mahmoud trying to stop Hussein, protests erupted for Hussein against Mahmoud.

Later that week, polls finally came in showing Hussein losing by at least 30%. This made Hussein mad, and so did the protesters. This made Mahmoud's supporters think twice about how Mahmoud had rigged the vote from his last election, and some changed their minds. Hussein ended up in office, and the dictator Mahmoud was arrested.

Worth, Robert F. "Protests Flare in Iran as Opposition Disputes Vote." The New York Times. N.p., 13 June 2009. Web. 08 Sept. 2016. <>.

Iran PJAK conflict

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Partiya Jiyana Azad a Kurdistanê or Free Life Party of Kurdistan is a nationalist group who is based in the mountains of Turkey, and Syria. This organization is mainly controlled by women. These women are Guerrilla fighters who dislike the oppression of women in Kurdistan. They blame Sharia law for this, and as a result attack western Iran.

PJAK shares the same leadership as the PKK, a group of Kurds who are fighting Turkish Government Forces. PJAK members practice Apoism, a socialist movement. These women are also fighting for the murder of women in Kurdistan. These women are Sunni fighting against the Shia Muslims of Iran. This is anther reason for the conflict against these groups.

"Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK)." TRAC. TRAC, 2016. Web. 20 Sept. 2016. <>.

Iran-Iraq War

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The whole war started after Ira wanted control over Iran's oil. Saddam Hussein wanted to claim the river, Shaṭṭ Al-ʿArab for Iran. Saddam was also concerned from Iran's revolutionary government. When Saddam attacked, the government of Iran was unorganized, so Iraq had the advantage.

The war lasted a long 8 years from 1980-1988. The U.S. got involved from our oil supplies in the region, and sided with Iraq. Many pipelines, and oil shipments stopped momentarily from the war. Iran had sided with Syria and Libya , while Iraq had many allies such as the U.S., the Soviet Union, Kuwait, and other Arab nations around the Middle East.

After many request for Iran to cease-fire, they decided enough was enough. On August 20th, 1988, Iran called a cease-fire and the war ended. After Suffering Many Losses (Estimated over 500,000), having a deteriorating economy, and attacks from the UN surrounding the country caused Iran to wave the white flag

Brittanica, Editors Of. "Iran-Iraq War." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 20 Sept. 2016. <>.

Historical Conflicts

Goharshad Mosque Rebellion

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The Goharshad Mosque Rebellion took place in 1935. There was a rebellion outside the Mosque as Shah and Shia Muslims disagreed with each others beliefs. Many villagers and bazarris took refuge in the Mosque.

It took 4 long days of local police and the army refused to violate the shrine. Finally when troops for Azerbaijan arrived the standoff ended as troops stormed inside the Mosque. Dozens were killed and hundreds injured from the troops. A British report stated 2 officers and 18 soldiers killed, While 128 dead villagers and 200-300 wounded. Over 800 people were arrested in the incident.

Hosseini, Mir Masood. "Goharshad Mosque Rebellion." Goharshad Mosque Rebellion., 18 Dec. 2015. Web. 20 Sept. 2016. <>.


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The Anglo Persian war was a short conflict that lasted only one year, from 1856-1857. The war was fought between the Persians, Russians, and the British Empire in their province of India. he war was fought in Persia and Afghanistan. All three Countries wanted control of Northern Persia and Afghanistan. After the Afghan's Sided with Russia, as Russia Promised to let them have half the land gained.

The Qajar Dynasty was in control of Persia, at which the Persians declared themselves independent. In control of the British Queen Victoria was notorious for land claims who wanted to just keep their claims and defend their border of India, and make treaties for land, not war. Soon the war ended with the defeat of Persia, but the Russians pulled out because of how close they were to the British Province. The British Empire helped Persia gain back the land they lost, while the British Gained more land in India.

Brittanica, Editors Of. "Iran-Iraq War." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 20 Sept. 2016. <>.

WWII Iran theatre

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Iran was a very strategic location for the Allied Powers. It produced more than 8 million tons of oil for the Allies. Many military bases were housed there, including the American Base used to send supplies to the eastern front after Germany invaded Russia. Eventually, strong ties were made between Iran's government and Germany, which eventually led to the placement of German troops in Iran.

The allied powers attacked with tanks, planes, infantry, basically everything until the Germans had been pushed all the way to Africa. The Soviets eventually divided the land with the allied powers, and Iran would be a proven allied location for the remainder of the war.

"WW2 Peoples War." BBC. BBC, 15 Oct. 2014. Web. 22 Aug. 2016. <>.

Siege of Herat

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The Siege of Herat was an unsuccessful Seige on the Afghan City of Herat. The two Countries used Citadels to control spots,but never advanced. The Persian army had over 40,000 troops fighting, but the rebels had too many ways to outsmart them. As the war dragged on another 6 months, no side had an advantage or gained ground. The Iraqi's wanted the river near the city as their own, but it meant they had to fight through the city to get it. Eventually the war ended when the British threatened to get involved. Russia also threatened Iran because of it's Afghan Allies. Neither side gained ground and the war ended.

Nelson, John Carl. "Iran Chamber Society: History of Iran: The Siege of Herat 1837-1838." Iran Chamber Society: History of Iran: The Siege of Herat 1837-1838. Iran Chamber Society, 1976. Web. 27 Sept. 2016.