February 3, 2009: Greece has offered to erect a statue of Alexander the Great, outside Mosul, to celebrate the battle of Gaugamela. It was there, 2,340 years ago, that the Greek educated Macedonian conqueror defeated a Persian (Iranian) army, and destroyed the Persian empire (which at that time stretched from modern Turkey to modern Pakistan.) The Iraqis are enthusiastic about the idea, even though the defeated Persian army contained a lot of Arab troops. For the Iraqis, the big thing is that the battle represented a major defeat for Iran. Even though most Iraqis share the Shia form of Islam with Iran, the Iranians are not Arabs, but an Indo-European people related to the Indians and Europeans. Iran/Persia has long menaced, invaded and generally beat on the Arabs, and are now threatening the Arab world again. So anything that celebrates anyone smashing Iranian power, is something to be encouraged.
Eight years after Gaugamela, Alexander was dead, and what is now Iraq became part of a kingdom ruled by one of Alexander's generals. But the Greeks soon left, and the Iranians didn't.