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The Rise of Greater Persia?

February 14, 2013

At one time, Persia was the greatest empire in the world, stretching from the Indus River in the east to Libya in the west.  From its height of power around 500 BC, Greater Persia gradually receded through the centuries as it was alternately conquered by outside powers or reasserted sovereignty through a succession of “empires.”  But, as late as the 19th century, Persia was a much larger nation than it is today.  Beginning with an ill fated war with Russia, Persia steadily lost bits and pieces of its territory to Western nations or their local surrogates.

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The current leadership – or more precisely, a possible future iteration of the current regime – seems to want to reverse this trend.  Ayatollah Sayyid Mohammed Bokiri Kherrozi  is currently the head of the Hezbollah organization in Iran and is running for the national Presidency this spring, has declared his intention of reclaiming for Iran the lands of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and parts of Tajikstan which were lost in the 19th century.  The Iranian government has officially disavowed Kherozzi’s statements, but clearly there is a market for such expansionary nationalism in Iran.  If Iran gets nuclear weapons (or if perhaps it already has them) then its neighbors – especially those to which Iran has territorial claims or pretensions – should be very worried – the shield that the US military provides would be a lot less formidable when facing a nuclear opponent.

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