“While Shia Iraqis feel a religious kinship with their fellow Iranian Shia, the ethnic divide (the Shia majority in Iraq is Arab while the Iranians are Indo-European, and never left any Arab forget it).” To elaborate, the CIA World Fact Book says that Iraq is Arab 75%-80% and Iran is Persian 61%. "Arab" is a cultural and linguistic term. It refers to those who speak Arabic as their first language. Arabic belongs to the Semitic language family. Semitic languages belong to the South Central group of the Hamito-Semitic family which is also known as Afroasiatic (alternatively Afro-Asiatic). Persian (local name: f&>57;rsi ) is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. So, bottom line, Arabic and Persian come from different language “trees” which is as big a difference as you can get.
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