Thousands of Ahwazi Arab demonstrators in south and southwestern of Iran came out to protested against the marginalization and erase of Arab identity in the geography so called Iran on Thursday 27thof March 2018 and also on the severe air and water conditions on 30thof June 2018.
Thousands of Ahwazi demonstrators met for the several days in a row, chanting slogans in Arabic against what they saw as policies to marginalize the Arabs in Iran and accusing the Iranian authorities of pursuing plans to change the identity of Arab cities and change the population structure, and encourage migration to their regions, while preventing Arabs from similar opportunities granted to migrants to Arab cities.
One of the reasons triggered clashes between the Ahwazis and the Iranian security forces for days in several cities on Thursday 27thof March 2018 was the broadcast of the Iranian Channel II program shows the Iranian map above the dolls of the composition of nationalities in Iran. A program was used to address children and used other nationalities in Arab areas in southern Ahwaz and its northern regions, while the central areas near the Iraqi border were not used to show the presence of Arabs in Iran, which led to widespread resentment in Arab cities of Al-Ahwaz (Khuzestan, Bushehr, Hormozgan, south Ilam).
While the demonstrators demanded a halt to “racist behaviour” and “denial of Arab identity” in television programs, as well as the apology of Iranian officials and the accountability of the program’s “abusers” to the Arabs, but the Iranian regime has gone ahead with security and military solutions.
Iranian destructive security projects in Al-Ahwaz
One of the countless examples of the Iranian regime’s inhuman policies towards Ahwazis is a leaked letter in 2005 from Iranian Vice-President Mohammad Ali Abtahi circulated to government ministries concerning acceleration of the regime’s program of enforced demographic changes throughout Al-Ahwaz region (known as Khuzestan in Farsi, a name conferred on it in 1936). As the letter clarified, this policy is pursued through the forced displacement and ethnic cleansing of Ahwazi Arabs, to be replaced by Persian Iranians from central provinces of Iran.
The leaked letter clearly demonstrates the regime’s ethnic cleansing policy towards Ahwazi Arabs, advising government ministries to invite Persians to settle in the region as a means of gradually eradicating Ahwazi Arab identity and culture and effectively ‘Persian-izing’ the region. After it had been leaked in 2005, the letter provoked a mass uprising or intifada among Ahwazis, with over 100 killed by the regime in the resulting brutal crackdown.
Khuzestan comprehensive security project:
The leaked “Comprehensive Security Project for Khuzestan” plan proposes a number of strategies with the objective of crushing the Ahwazi freedom movement and thwarting already severely proscribed activism by the Arab peoples of Ahwaz and its implementation was on 27 April 2014.
The report identifies five categories of challenges facing the Iranian regime in the Ahwaz region – “political, security, cultural, social and economic” – before proposing that these be resolved through focusing on quelling the demands of the Arab peoples by “dissolving political mobility and demands in the crucible of Iranian pro-regime parties” through indoctrination of the region’s populace in the “concepts of the Islamic Republic” and inculcating “obedience to the velayat e-faqih system”.
List of responsible official’s names within part of Al-Ahwaz (Khuzestan)
while the Ahwazi activists in exile spoke about their nation suffering by Iranian regime, they will encounter with answer that’s spot in the ocean where the person who is unfamiliar with Iranian policies gives an example that Mr. Ali Shamkhani (who is Ahwazi Arab) has got high level rank in the Iranian administration, so Ahwazi Arab are not persecuted or repressed by the regime (which is false). But the story completely different and following are the name of officials with their ethnicity who are ruling governmental places in Al-Ahwaz (just Khuzestan).
1-Governor: Mr. Gholamreza Shariati (Behbahani)
2- Director General of Mining Industry and Trade: Mr. Hasanzadeh (Bakhtiari)
- Education: Mr. Mohammad Taghizadeh (Bakhtiari)
- Sports and Youth: Mr. Kianizadeh (Bakhtiari)
5- Red Crescent Society: Mr. Ali Khodadadi (Bakhtiari)
6- Shahid Chamran University: Mr. Khajavi (Kohgeliueh and Boyer Ahmad)
7- University of Medical Sciences: Mr. Ismail Idini (Bakhtiari)
8- Cooperative Work of Social Welfare: Mr. Seyed Nor Mohammadpour
- Social Security: Mr. Mahmudyar Alizadeh (Bakhtiari)
- Management of Social Security Treatment: Mr. Rezaei (Bakhtiari)
- Director of Islamic Advertising Organization: Mr. Belak (Shooshtari)
- Water and Electricity Organization: Mr. Mohammadreza Shamsaee (Lor)
- Agricultural Jihad Organization: Mr. Changlowaei (Lor)
- Ershad Eslami organisation: Mr. Mohammad Jorwand (Kurdish Fili)
- Oil-rich regions: Bijan Alipour (Bakhtiari)
16- National Drilling Company: Mr. Haydar Bahmani (Lor) 17
– Tourism & Culture: Mr. Khosrow Neshani(Kurdish)
- Rescue Committee: Mr. Khabaz (Dezfuli)
19- Media and TV: Mr. Moslem Rahimi (Lor)
- Urban Housing Route: Rahmani (Bakhtiari)
- Milli Bank: Mr. Saeed Taheri (Lor)
- Khouzestan Refah Bank: Mr. Jalal Noirmand
- Bank of Sepah: Mr. Mohammad Ali Shamshiri
24: Tejart Bank: Mr. Anousheh
25- Bank of SADERAT: Mr. Payami Far (Dezfuli)
- Bank of Maskan: Mr. Ali Asghar Naderi (Lor)
- Steel of Khuzestan: Modares (Tabriz)
28 Azad University, District 6: Omidvar Rezai (Bakhtiari)
- Technical professional: Sada’di (Arab)
30- Welfare: Mr. Sediq Rad (Lor)
- Environment: Mr. Lahijan Zadeh (Dezfuli)
- Development Center: Mr. Shanbadi (Lor)
- Organization of Endowment and Charity: Mr. Tabataba’i (Lor)
- Telecommunications: Mr. Moshidi
- Rural Water Resources: Darvish Ali Karimi (Bakhtiari)
36-Ahwaz Water and Wastewater Company: Barati (Bakhtiari)
- Housing Foundation: Khani Nozari (Mazandaran)
- Martyr Foundation: Farajian (Dezfuli)
- Municipal Support: Fadami (Turk Qashqai)
- Applied University: Mr. Massoud Khodapanah (Lor)
- Tax affairs organisation: Mr. Naser Hashemi (Lor)
43) Ahwaz Pipeline Factory: Mr. Basagzadeh (Dezfuli)
- Director of Khuzestan sugar industry: Nasim Sadeghi (Turk)
- Kesharvari (Agricultural) Bank: Mansur beigi (Turk Qashqai)
- Industrial Township Corporation: Akhlagh Mohammadian (Lor)
- Toeseah Ma’aden (Cooperative Development) Bank: Mr. Poor Asif (Dezfuli)
- Justice: Mr. Afsharinia (Tehrani)
- Province Inspection: Mohammad Aghajari (Lor)
- Libraries: Mr. Lotfollah Sepehr (Lor)
- Fisheries: Mr. Khoon Mirzai (Bakhtiari)
- Khuzestan Power Distribution Company: Mr. Ghazanfari (Lor)
- Director General of the Customs: Mr. Mohammad Reza Ja’fari (Turk Qashqai)
- Planning and Budget Organization: Mr. Omid Hajati (Bakhtiari)
- General Post Office: Mr. Mehran Hamuleh (Bakhtiari)
- Payame Noor University: Mr. Alireza Eghbali (Lor)
- General Standard Office: Mr. Reza Dehdashtizadeh (Lor)
- General Director of Health Insurance: Mr. Jaberzadeh (Lor)
- Arvand Free Zone: Mr. Ismail Zamani (Bakhtiari)
- Ramin Power Plant: Mr. Mahmoudi (Lor)
- Regional Electricity Company: Mr. Dasht Bozorghi (Bakhtiari)
- Steel Auxin: Mr. Mahmoudipour (Turk)
- Director General of Natural Resources: Mr. Shahriyar Bazrapash (Dezfuli)
- General Director of tribes Affairs: Mr. Ali Rahm Karimi (Lor)
- Director General of Veterinary Medicine: Kenarkohi (Lor)
- Iran Insurance Office: Mojtaba Akhondi
- Police: Eshaghi (Khorasani)
68- Ports and Shipping Office: Mr. Jalilian (Bakhtiari)
69- Khorramshahr University of Marine Sciences: Mr. Parviz Bavarsad (Bakhtiari)
- Director General of Registration of Documents: Mr. Ali Afshin (Bakhtiari)
- Director General of Civil Registration: Mr. Behnam Moridi (Shooshtari)
- Forensic Medicine: Farzad Hosseini (Bakhtiari)
- Head of the Prisons Organization: Mr. Reza Postchi (Shooshtari)
- Managing Director of Grain: Mr. Siavash Hosseinpur (Lor)
- Academic Jihad: Mr. Ghodrat Allah Shakr nejad (Shooshtari)
- Blood Transfusion Organization: Qasemzadeh (Lor)
- Coordinating Council for Advertising: Sepehr (Lor)
78- Meteorology of the province: Masoud Dahmmalai (Lor)
- Oil Darkhuwain: Mr. Mousavi Qomi
- General Director of the Southern Railway: Dervishzadeh (Lor)
- Terminals: Mr. Mosadeghi (Lor)
- Modernization of schools: Mr. Rezaei (Bakhtiari)
83- Province Gas Company: Mr. Hosseini Nejad (Bakhtiari)
- Managing Director of Mellat Bank – Sharifi (Lor)
85- Director General of Ahwaz Steel Group – Mr. Mahmoudi (Tehran)
- Khouzestan Village Cooperative – Khajavi (Lor)
Increasing level of non-Arab activities within Al-Ahwaz
The non-Arab migrants (that are also known as Lor and has similar culture with Bakhtiaries) has increased their level of activities within Al-Ahwaz recently. The increase came after the Iranian regime has showed green lights for All Non-Arab activities and they are allowed to exercise their local traditions even without getting permission. But in opposite any Ahwazi individual or group want to work out or practise any cultural or social activity, must get permission from Iranian authorities and request must be written and handed in at least one month before the start of activity.
In the following video that were recorded during the Iranian Nowruz Eid (March 2018), the migrants are playing their local music and dance in one of the famous junction of Ahwaz capital. The migrants and in order to save their activity from Ahwazi anger, has invited an Ahwazi artist in their tent in order to pretend that they are celebrating jointly with Arabs.
in the similar video and in a different part of Ahwaz, there are two migrants also play local Lor music in a sense to show the tourists that local people who are living in Ahwaz are Lor and not Arab. Video been recorded and sent by Ahwazi local activist.
the migrant’s increasing activity level does not practise in the Ahwaz capital only, where in almost all Ahwaz cities such as Ramez, Abadan and Mohammareh, Ma’ashour and even Ahwaz airport.
Ithaj (Izeh) city is one of Ahwazi historical city and during the Mullas regime the and previous dynasties, the Arabic identity is at extreme extinction through vicious policies perpetrated by Iranian criminal regime and recently in a step that surprised Ahwazi totally, the authorities has installed giant statue of migrants man in the entrance of the city in a move to erase the Arab identity of Ithaj city.
picture of statue of migrant’s man
Group of Lor migrants were greeted the passengers in Ahwaz airport in recent months (during Nowruz Eid). The act by migrants has raised the Ahwazi annoyance and Ahwazi were disappointed as if they show their anger the authorities will label them as acting against Iran national security.
group of migrants by Ahwaz airport
also in similar context and under supervision of department of Islamic Culture and Guidance, the migrants in Ramez (Ramhormoz) city has celebrated Nowruz Eid with accompany of Iranian police to secure the place in order the celebration moves smoothened without Arab disturbance.
the migrants by wearing their local dresses and free admission from all are celebrating their events in manner to show that they are safe pawing the way for more migrants migration from other cities to Ahwazi cities.
Even the Governor that is Mr. Gholamreza Shariati while the Ahwazi are protesting against allocation of governmental places to non-Arab, he appeared with the migrants dress and without taking into consideration the demands of Ahwazi people.
Also in removing Arabic identity, almost all the Arabic historical places been destroyed by Iranian regime and in contrast the authorities placed statue of Persian history and also painting on the wall of cities the history of migrants people.
The story did not stop there and the migrants’ celebration announcement were distributing locally and through social media in Ahwazi cities such as Abadan, Ma’ashour and other cities.
migrant celebrations’s invitation leaflet
in one show in Ma’ashour city, the migrants has played between an Ahwazi Arab man ( Persian who wear Arabic dress) and migrants man. in the show, the migrant man showed as rich in money and culture and the Arab man poor in money and culture where migrant man after seeing Arab man who is beggar and giving him some money and in response the Arab man kisses the hand of migrant man and from this point the Ahwazi anger did not stop and showed itself by groups of Ahwazi in Ma’ashour city with organisers and stopped the show.
please look to the following video.
in other part, there is increase level of Iranian official in diaspora in removing the Arab identity by showing all part of Iranian map and their ethnicity except for the Ahwazi Arab case.
in the following two video that been recorded by Ahwazi activists in Netherland and Austria where their show of “IKEA” company show and in the Iranian section the map that were installed in the section, completely ignoring the Arabic identity of Al-Ahwaz.
Finally in the report that were submitted by Iranian regime to Human Rights Council on November 2016, the Iranian regime fully ignored the Ahwazi Arab identity in the report that were submitted in demand of countries that were asked Iranian officials and the authorities has answered all question about all the nations in Iran except for Ahwazis.
The evidence that were mentioned in this report are showing part of Ahwazi misiereies and there are other ways that Iranian regime intensifies its vicious policies such as improvishment, repression, ignoring Arabic identities that will be documented in the next report.
report written by:
Mr Faisal Maramazi
Executive director of Ahwazi Centre for Human Rights