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Ever since its inception, the state of Iran has been pressed with the challenge of integrating the multiple ethnic identities that make up its plural society. In contrast to a number of other minorities like the Kurds and the Baluchis, the Azeris have shown loyalty to the Iranian state
to the surprise of foreign scholars and policy makers. They have done so even in spite of a number of potentially favorable political and economic conditions that could support the realization of national aspirations. This article addresses this puzzle: why, against seemingly favorable odds,
have Iranian Azeris refrained from asserting their national ambitions and joining their newly independent kin north of the border? In an attempt to solve this puzzle, the paper will examine the triadic relationship among the Azeri minority in Iran, their home state (Iran), and their kin state
(the Republic of Azerbaijan).
The Middle East Institute has published The Middle East Journal quarterly since 1947. The Journal provides original and objective research and analysis, as well as source material, on the area from Morocco to Pakistan and including Central Asia. The Journal provides the background necessary for an understanding and appreciation of the region's political and economic development, cultural heritage, ethnic and religious diversity.