Ajam of Iraq

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.

Iraqi Ajam
Total population
1.000.000 (over one million,[1] from Iranians/Shia-Kurds, till 1984)
Regions with significant populations
Karbalā', Najaf, Baṣrah
Shiʿa Islam[2]
Related ethnic groups
Ajam of Kuwait, Ajam of Bahrain


In the 1970s, Saddam Hussein exiled between 350,000[3][4] to 650,000 Shia Iraqis of Iranian ancestry (Ajam).[5] 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.[5]


Most Persians Iraqis belong to Twelver Shīʿa Islam, the same religion that most Iraqis belong to. However, a significant portion of them are of Sayyid Iranian heritage of Arab origin which were moved to Iran under the Safavids and returned to Arab lands after the fall of the Safavids. Some even being descended from the al-Musawi clan.

See also


  1. Mu'awidun shiawaves.net Retrieved 22 June 2020
  2. Pahlavan, Demographic Movements in the Region, p. 147.
  3. Iranica Online
  4. U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI)
  5. "Hamshahri Newspaper (In Persian)". hamshahri.org. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
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