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10 January 2014

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William R. Cumming

How do Kurdish and Iranian interests align or not?

Kurdish and Turkish interests align or not?

How do Russians and Chinese interests in Kurds align or not?

US and Kurds?

Babak Makkinejad

There will never be a Kurdish state not because of machinations of Turkey, or Iran or anyone else but because Kurds are not capable of doing so.

While Armenia has had a state/kingdom for centuries - under tutelage of Rome or Russia or Iran at various times - nothing analogous has existed for Kurds.

There is no reason to think it would be otherwise now.

Joe100

"A Kurdish wilayet"???

William R. Cumming

Agree with Babak!

The Virginian

Check your Ottoman history for the reference!

The Virginian

A very brief set of points that do not do your query justice...

Iran has long ties with the now splintering PUK of Jalal Talabani as well as the KDP / Barzani. Tehran is concerned that any Kurdish move towards independence will undermine efforts to ensure Shia dominance of the new Iraq.

Ankara is split - the Turks need energy, and the Kurds have both crude and gas. But the Turks do not want to see an independent Kurdistan given its own issues internally with the Kurdish minority. And of course the tie up of Kurdish wealth (ie KDP / Barzani) and those around Erdogan adds an extra bit of complexity.

For the Russians and Chines Kurdistan is another resource opportunity, though currently of lesser importance than southern Iraq. The Chines are in I believe 7 of the main contracts in the south, and thus are the leaders from a country perspective. Sinopec is the only Chines IOC in the north through their acquisition of Addax Petroleum (I believe). The Russians are in West Qurna 2 with Lukoil, and in the KRG with Gazprom; Gazprom is also in the Badra field in Arab Iraq. Chinese service companies are active in both. And Russia has re-energized a series of military supply contracts with Baghdad apparently despite previous corruption revelations. Many of the KDP old school were exiled in Russia (USSR), to include nationalist leader Mustafa Barzani and father of KDP President Massoud Barzani.

The US, though supportive of the Kurds since 2003, is concerned that Kurdish actions will lead to the breakup of Iraq. Unlike Baghdad, Kurdish leaders are playing a bit smarter in Washington and have built up a small yet aggressive lobbying effort and links to several US politicians.

Alba Etie

Little bit off topic - but will Erdogan be reelected ? If so will Erdogan still support the Syrian jihadis , and could that not also impact a Kurdistan state comimg to be in the northern Iraq . It really looks like Erdogan is trying to decouple Turkey from the West. Secretary of Defense Hagel is in Turkey this week discussing 'why , how come " Ankara recently bought a Chinese ABM system not compatible with NATO stuff ..

dan bradburd

What about Saladin, just for starters?

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