Tur and Iraj: Azeri Turks and ‘Persian’ Iran
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Despite the prominence of the Middle East and Islamic world in Western news media, it is a region that suffers from severe misunderstanding. Out of the countries in those regions, Iran is perhaps the most poorly understood of all. This ignorance extends beyond popular misunderstanding to include policy and scholarly circles. This is evident in Western discussion of ethnicities in Iran, which often results in an inaccurate understanding of the matter. While some of this misunderstanding can be attributed to faults in the West—to Orientalism, to natural hatred and misunderstanding that develop between mutual enemies, and to the inaccurate universalization of Western cultural and social paradigms—Iran's unique history certainly complicates Western perceptions and understandings.