Will Iran Be The Next Middle East Nation Torn Apart By Conflict?

File photo of Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (L) with president Rouhani. According to Iran's Constitution, the Supreme Leader is responsible for supervision of "the general policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran," which means that he sets the tone and direction of Iran's domestic and foreign policies. The Supreme Leader also is commander-in-chief of the armed forces and controls the Islamic Republic's intelligence and security operations; he alone can declare war or peace. He is also the supreme commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
File photo of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (L) with president Rouhani. According to Iran’s Constitution, the Supreme Leader is responsible for supervision of “the general policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” which means that he sets the tone and direction of Iran’s domestic and foreign policies. The Supreme Leader also is commander-in-chief of the armed forces and controls the Islamic Republic’s intelligence and security operations; he alone can declare war or peace. He is also the supreme commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

By Rahim Hamid , Contributor

While Iran’s regime is always keen to portray itself as a great supporter of oppressed Muslim peoples, particularly Palestinians, with regime officials recently condemning Israeli brutality to worshippers at the iconic Al Quds Mosque and denouncing the massacres by Myanmar’s regime, carried out supposedly in the name of “fighting terror,” Tehran remains silent on its own systemic oppression of minorities within Iran. With regime troops killing two more Iranian Kurdish kolbars in recent months, regime media have remained silent, as usual, on the state’s murder of the unarmed porters who make a grueling living carrying massive loads on their backs across the mountainous area between Iranian Kurdistan and Iraq for a pittance, or to the wider suffering and abject poverty of Iran’s Kurds and other ethnic minorities.

In fact, the supremacist mindset and oppressive racism of Iran’s rulers towards the country’s ethnic minorities are perpetrated with the intent of eradicating these minorities through a systematic degradation in the quality of life.

One of the factors which makes a strong impression and creates what is called the “defence of nationalism” by ethnic minorities in Iran is the sense of deprivation. Almost all the ethnic minorities are denied their rights compared to the dominant Persian group. This denial of rights comes in many forms; they [ethnic minorities] are denied the right to learn their own languages or to teach their history in schools, and are deprived of the right to political participation in the establishment of political parties and civil institutions. They are also deprived of economic rights, and most painfully are deprived of the rights enjoyed by Persian nationalists across the country.

The majority of ethnic minorities in Iran live in underprivileged areas and are extremely poor. The Iranian regime depends on the marginalization of the ‘other,’ and knows full well that movements by these nationalities will negatively affect the regime’s chance of survival, so the regime strives to eradicate what it views as threatening. That’s why we see the ethnic minorities, who suffer from the worst deprivation and oppression, also suffering from the highest number of executions especially among Arab people of Ahwaz, Kurds, and Baluchis.

Prominent figures and activists from ethnic minority populations in Iran are warning of escalating tensions due to worsening marginalization and abuse inflicted by the regime. Ethnic minorities in the country have become increasingly angered over the regime’s brutal crackdown on dissent, contemptuous disregard for basic civil liberties, and oppression of cultural, political, and social rights.

MAP OF ALL THE ETHNIC GROUPS IN IRAN
MAP OF ALL THE ETHNIC GROUPS IN IRAN

There are increasing fears of an ethno-sectarian break-up of Iran as anger grows among the long-oppressed minorities, primarily the Kurdish, Ahwazi Arabs, Turks, Turkmen and Balochi peoples who make up more than half the country’s population, at the regime’s systemic brutal discrimination and subjugation. The worsening economic crisis is adding to the frustrations of the people already angered at the regime’s failure to maintain its promises of greater freedom, who are instead facing more extreme oppression.

As Iran’s regime seeks to realize its expansionist dream across the Levant region, where senior regime officials have boasted of building a region-wide “Islamic nation,” state media feature non-stop promotion of its extremely well-funded vicious regional wars and interventions. Meanwhile in Iran, the economic crisis continues to spiral downwards, as poverty and unemployment levels grow steadily, with the country’s ethnic minorities, already suffering brutal persecution, once again being the worst affected.

Mostafa Hetteh, a former Ahwazi teacher based in Canada recalled what he observed during his teaching experience in Iranian schools by saying, “The torture starts when the none-Persian children of ethnic minorities attend their first day of school in Iran, where they are forced to learn an entirely new language from their native one. These children are institutionally prevented from expressing curiosity about their own language, ethnic history, and cultural identity. All children in Iran are mandated to receive all their classes taught in the Persian language, learn Persian versions of history, and adopt Persian cultural norms. The indoctrination and internalization of Persian supremacy begin at this very early stage.”

“All the minorities in Iran are getting angrier and more disillusioned,” said Mohammed,an Ahwazi-Arab teacher at a school in the regional capital, Ahwaz city, whose name has been changed to protect his identity. “The education ministry’s latest guidelines are one more slap in the face―they stipulate that in order to teach the children to speak Farsi ‘properly,’ no teachers with non-Persian dialects and accents can be employed in schools; it’s just another way for them to insult and discriminate against Ahwazis and other minorities here, already facing constant racism from the regime―over our languages, our clothes, our cultures, etc. How are minorities in Iran supposed to ‘integrate’ when we’re openly degraded and insulted non-stop by the government and by its media in broad daylight?”

 

Thousands of residents of the southern Iranian city of Ahwaz formed a human chain by the bank of the Karun River in Ahwaz, the capital of the Khuzestan Province of Iran, protesting the diversion of its river to ethnically Persian areas
Thousands of residents of the southern Iranian city of Ahwaz formed a human chain by the bank of the Karun River in Ahwaz, the capital of the Khuzestan Province of Iran, protesting the diversion of its river to ethnically Persian areas October 26,2013

“Now, more and more people―Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen, and Baluchis―are supporting armed resistance because there’s a feeling that there’s no hope of reform from the regime. The last straw is the water crisis,” he says, referring to the regime’s massive river-damming and diversion programs in Ahwaz and other minority regions, under which water is transferred to ethnically Persian areas, leaving the non-Persian regions without desperately needed water. This has left increasing numbers reliant on ground wells leading to the spread of illness from drinking the untreated, polluted water and resulting in increasing desertification and large-scale migration. “They want to leave us to die of thirst or drink mud so they can water their gardens,” Mohammed concludes bitterly. “The mullahs talk a lot about how they’re ‘resisting Israel,’ but they’re no better than Israel.”

“With the Iranian regime becoming more radicalized in their oppression of these ethnic minorities, the minorities have, in turn, adopted more radical struggles against the regime. As minorities’ peaceful protests and demands for their rights were constantly met with violence and suppression from the regime, the struggles of oppressed minorities evolved to now include taking up armed fighting and calling for the formation of their own states via full separation from Iran.”

Despite, or perhaps, spurred on by the regime’s brutal efforts to intimidate minorities into silent acceptance of their dreadful situation, protests are becoming increasingly common.

Decades of brutality and discrimination by successive regimes have led to increasing levels of support among minorities in Iran for secession and ethno- nationalist autonomy via division of the country, as a means of escaping Persian supremacism and bigotry―which has long been promoted and normalized by media―of attaining freedom and justice, and of reviving and taking pride in their own cultural identity. Many have abandoned any hope of ever attaining genuine equal citizenship and rights so long as their regions, which were forcibly annexed by Iran, remain part of the country.

Many academics and analysts in Iran argue that the popularity of support for secession among the ethnic minorities is also driven by more pragmatic factors, such as the aforementioned spiraling inflation, youth unemployment and other issues related to the worsening economic crisis. Increasing access to social media in recent years means that many young Baluchis, Ahwazis, Kurds, Turks and Turkmen are learning for the first time subjects that are considered taboo by the notoriously controlling regime, which has attempted to enforce a homogeneous Persian identity even while subjecting the country’s minorities to overt racist discrimination.

These latest tensions are not new, but are simply the natural accumulation of simmering resentment which has built up over the past 81 years since the creation of the modern Iranian state in 1936 the year that Iran annexed the Arab emirate of Ahwaz, and created a single “Persian” identity in an effort to subsume and assimilate all the subject peoples, without according minorities the same rights as the ethnically Persian citizens.

As the founder should have realized, this brutal, unjust and oppressive “Persianization” process, which was doomed to failure from the start, may ultimately lead to Iran being the next regional nation devastatingly torn apart by ethno-sectarian conflict.

Huffington Post

  • Hannibal

    If this analysis is true to the bones it presents as an oxymoron. The Persian language is not Arabic yet they pray in Arabic. If Persians discriminate against the Arab minorities it does not make any sense.
    Lo! We have appointed it a Lecture, in Arabic that haply ye may conceive (by understanding). (Surah Zukhruf, 3)
    Allah’s revealing a universal book with an Arab Prophet to an Arab tribe yet Persians despise the Arabs.

    • MekensehParty

      If until today you are unaware of the intense and deep racial hatred between Arabs and Persians (on both sides) you are the oxymoron without the oxy

      • Hannibal

        This is not what I said. You know a moron is a person who listens (or read) to answer. Here is a piece of advice: Listen, understand, think, answer. It seems you are incapable of understand and think.
        So for your moronic brain I rewrite… I do know there is such a hatred but what I am pointing out is that it does not make sense for an Islamic nation to discriminate against the same people where their prophet (and guide) was an Arab and a G_D who delivered a Quran in Arabic.
        Is that better? I hope so because while I can rewrite what I meant I am not privy to what exists in that brain of yours (if anything at all) nor am I capable of modifying your genetics so you understand and think. In that case it is a hopeless endeavor.

        • MekensehParty

          ya oxymoron
          “it does not make sense for an Islamic nation to discriminate against the same people where their prophet (an guide) was an Arab and a G_D who delivered a Quran in Arabic”
          And yet they do!!!

          • Hannibal

            A person who does not understand the word oxymoron (which is not a swear) is the biggest moron… Honestly TOO FUNNY how uneducated you are.

      • Rainbow Sponge

        Could use the spare oxy for oxtail stew.

      • Hannibal

        Hey Mek,
        How does it feel when you have 6 approving votes from zionist trolls? That makes you a collaborator with an enemy actor. I am tasking the security forces to find you via examining metadata and listing your name in airport records to have you arrested.

        • Rudy1947

          Hunting my dear boy?

          • Hannibal
          • Rudy1947

            Do you actually think I’m going read/watch your links? You’re dumber than previously thought.

          • Hannibal

            No actually everyone knows that the person who does not educate himself by watching alternative views is as dumb as a Cypriot donkey.
            Alternatively, you may have a conscience (which I doubt for a zio stooge) and fear to see what your ilk is doing.

        • Rainbow Sponge

          Which security forces? Interpol?

          • Hannibal

            Don’t worry… He knows well which.

  • Hannibal

    @yalibnan While many of us appreciate your service, some trolls on this website managed to chase away most people who wanted a discussion forum. YK and Rainbow Sponge are two examples. You have been thorough before at eliminating the noise and here we are again losing people to their bad behavior.

    • Hannibal

      Remember who starts the BS each time? YOUR ILK. So GO AWAY!

  • Rascal

    Iran certainly deserves it. I hope they get a sane government in the future after their next revolution. Those mullahs are crazy.

    • Steve Harvey

      Karma is coming back to haunt Iran in Syria and Yemen (at least 572 IRGC killed outside Iran since 2011). The chickens will be coming home to roost before too long in Iran. The ethnic minorities of Iran will not tolerate being marginalized forever (the ISIS attack in Tehran last June is proof of that).

      • Rascal

        The casualties are insignificant. It is a good thing for them to die in battle. They love death as much as you life.

        • Hind Abyad

          The real Steve Harvey loves Lebanese lives?