Iran has a great number of Sunni and even Marxian (at this point what does that even mean, but still) proxies: PFLP-GC, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, HAMAS, Harakat Tawhid al-Islami (Lebanon), to name a few.

Part 1
Khomeini pushed a pan-Islamic ideology with Shiism as the central spoke. Obviously, the sectarianism was there (Shia have specific high level positions), but the Islamic Republic and the ideology that it promotes is one of pan-Islamic leadership.

Part 2
Even within Shi'ism there are a number of differences that Iran finds troublesome for their leadership goals: They backed Muqtada al-Sadr and he's a hard man to control + elements of the Shiraziin (that ideologically oppose the Absolute Wilayat al-Faqih system) too.

Part 3
I'm gonna totally plug something I wrote without shame. I put this section in there specifically--Iran created a Shia jihad in Syria as best method to gain recruits. They also vacillated between public approaches (hyper-sectarian to cross-sectarian):…
Here's some other stuff: The 9/11 Commission (p. 240-241 are especially rich) also covers AQ and Iran's cooperation.…
Even pre-Donald Trump as POTUS, Iran was building bridges with the Taliban in Afghanistan:…
Just to add to this: When the U.S. invaded Iraq, it was under the leadership of Saddam Hussein...A Sunni.
The line that because "Iran is Shia, it supports Shia" ignores some key historical issues. Iran tried to assassinate Nabih Berri (head of the Shia Harakat Amal in Leb), they killed many Iraqi Shia during the Iran-Iraq War, & threaten/their proxies have killed indy Shia in Lebanon
Continuing the tweet above: Iran's direct proxies in Badr fought Muqtada al-Sadr's Jaysh al-Mahdi in Iraq. There were assassinations between Iran's Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq proxy and Jaysh al-Mahdi there too.
From 1987-1990 there was open conflict between Harakat Amal (Shia) and Lebanese Hizballah (Iran proxy). It was extremely bloody. Tons of assassinations and killings. This is one of the few Wikis I'll post (they did a pretty good job explaining it):…
To address this further. I wrote a paper back in 2013 about Lebanon's independent Shia and the risks they faces from Iran and its Leb. Hizballah proxy:… (sadly the paper is offline since the closure of the Rubin Center).
Also discussed it (this link works) at @AEI back in 2014 at their event covering Shia opposing Iran and if the Iranians had the capability to just "dominate all Shia."…

This link works.
Iran is a sectarian state, it crafted sectarian conflicts. Still, that does not = a completely black & white situation.
It doesn't mean the Islamic Republic is fully accepted by or accepts coreligionists. It doesn't mean it hasn't killed coreligionists. It also doesn't mean that issues within Shi'ism aren't a massive issue for Iran.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Phillip Smyth

Phillip Smyth Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!