Ajam of Iraq

Iraqi Ajam
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Karbalā', Najaf, Baṣrah
Shīʿa Islam
Related ethnic groups
Ajam of Kuwait, Ajam of Bahrain

Ajam of Iraq or Persians of Iraq are Iraqi citizens of Iranian national background or descent. Iranians have had a long presence in Iraq, dating back to antiquity.

Saddam Hussein deported most Iraqi Ajams in the 1970s and 1980s.


In the 1970s, Saddam Hussein deported between 350,000[1] to 650,000 Shia Iraqis of Iranian ancestry (Ajam).[2] Most of them went to Iran. Those who could prove an Iranian/Persian ancestry in Iran's court received Iranian citizenship (400,000) and some of them returned to Iraq after Saddam.[2]


Iraqi Persians belong to Twelver Shīʿa Islam, the same religion that most Iraqis belong. However, a significant portion of them are from Sayyid Iranian families of Arab origin which were moved to Iran under the Safavids and returned to Arab lands after the Afghan invasion in the 1720s. Some even being descended from offshoots of the al-Sadr and al-Musawi clans.

See also


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