Geopolitical analysis of political-security factors affecting the convergence of Iraqi Kurdistan region with Iran in geographical scales

Document Type : Extracted from the dissertation


1 Department of Political Geography, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran.

2 Department of Political Geography, Payam Noor University, Tehran, Iran.



Extended Abstract
Regions are locations where political processes involving many actors take place; they do not totally preexist and are not rigidly fixed in situ. Regions influence human civilizations' actions, emotions, activities, and ideas through full dynamics. The structural and functional qualities of political systems and many interactions in historical trends that take the form of beliefs, identities, and norms impact the regions. Regions are continually growing and collapsing due to geopolitical variables and the dynamics of the international system due to the dynamism of regions, the effect of diverse geographical elements, and functional changes in geographical scales. Interaction between players operating at various geographic scales is necessary to find answers to global concerns. Inequalities, such as a lack of resources and a high degree of well-being, military and security operations, international trade, and the emergence of pollutants and harmful environmental stimuli, are crises that call for collaboration and convergence in the field of geography. Incorporating different aspects of bio-social, cultural, economic, political, institutional, environmental, and water diplomacy in common watersheds, etc., as well as other factors that can speed up and facilitate political-security cooperation, is how regional convergence develops. Regional convergence engages more and fresher activists at various levels to play a more active role in the geographical space in accordance with the environmental capacities. Divergent geopolitical forces will impact geographical units' political, security, economic, and cultural actions if regional convergence is not developed under the influence of convergent geopolitical elements. Regional convergence has been pushed towards multi-level and multilateralism as a result of the changes that have occurred in the world since the conclusion of the Cold War and the collapse of the bipolar geopolitical structure. The results of regional convergence in various East Asian and European regions have demonstrated that these regions have made progress toward economic dynamism and development and have contributed more significantly to the stable security environment within the global power structure and geopolitical system. One of the Southwest Asian nations with a wide range of structural and functional capabilities in terms of its immediate surroundings in line with regional integration is Iran. Regarded as indicators of Iran's capacity for regional integration and its geopolitical position in the region, the geographical base of the Iranian plateau and its natural features, on the one hand, and the presence of various ethnicities and religions in border regions with geographic obstacles surrounding Iran, on the other. Thanks to Southwest Asia, this nation is at the center of regional political, security, economic, and cultural changes. Despite the fact that Iran's geography has several chances and objective and subjective geopolitical variables that point toward regional integration, this significance has not been practically formed at various political, economic, security, and cultural levels. The lack of sufficient and accurate information on the geopolitical elements effective in the process of integration in many dimensions and scales is one of the reasons why regional integration mechanisms around Iran have not been formed. One of the strategic identity organizations in and around Iran is working to build platforms for the union of the Kurds. Despite Iran's ethnic, historical, cultural, and civilizational history, Kurds, with a sizable population, are dispersed among the nations of Iraq, Turkey, Syria, and Iran. The regional powers view the Kurds as crisis-causing elements in the region's security order. With regard to the Kurds, our nation has taken a passive approach to utilizing the Kurds' potential for regional integration, and this attitude has prompted the rivals to utilize the Kurds' potential in order to increase their regional and global power. The Kurdistan region of Iraq is one of the regions near Iran created as a federal unit in the Iraqi constitution following changes in Iraq's political structure and developments in the Middle East region. On the one hand, Iran, as a strategic regional power, is very important for the Kurdistan Region of Iraq in political, cultural, security, and economic dimensions. On the other hand, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq is strategically important to Iran on multiple levels and in different structural and functional dimensions. In order to achieve the convergence of development and regional security, this research uses a qualitative methodology based on geopolitical concepts to examine the political-security factors influencing the convergence of the Iraqi Kurdistan region with Iran at sub-national, national, regional, and global geographical scales.
The information for this study was gathered via semi-structured interviews, library materials, and online resources. Sixty elites and researchers knowledgeable about Iranian foreign policy and Kurdish issues participated in a semi-structured interview to first extract the elements and indicators. Then, these indicators were again presented to the researchers in the form of a questionnaire for weighing. The study's findings indicate that in accordance with regional geopolitical equations, factors related to the regional scale have the greatest influence on the convergence of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region with Iran. These factors include the Iraqi Kurdistan Region's geopolitical dependence on Iran; the Kurdistan region of Iraq is vulnerable to threats to its security and is dependent on Iran; the Turkish government's military presence in Iraqi Kurdistan and the failure of the Turkish-Kurdish peace process; Iran's impact on the future political structure of Syria and its impact on the Iraqi Kurdistan region. Also, the convergence and cooperation between the Kurdistan region of Iraq and Iran impact the security and development of Iran and Iraq.
Results and discussion
The study's findings indicate that there are already political and security integration capabilities for the Kurdistan region of Arakhsh, and there are geographical scale factors that, if discovered and used, can make it easier for the Kurdistan region to integrate with Iran.
the security and development of Iran and Iraq are impacted by the convergence and collaboration between Iran and the Kurdistan area of Iraq.
There is no funding support.
Authors’ Contribution
All of the authors approved thecontent of the manuscript and agreed on all aspects of the work.
Conflict of Interest
Authors declared no conflict of interest.
We are grateful to all the scientific consultants of this paper.


Main Subjects

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