Iran's A Multi-Cultural and Multi-Ethnic Society

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Iran's A Multi-Cultural and Multi-Ethnic Society
by Savalan
23-Jul-2010
 

Iran is a multiethnic, multicultural and multilingual country. Persians (Farsis), Azerbaijanis (Azerbaijani Turks), Kurds, Arabs, Loris, Beluchies and Turkomans have lived in Iran for thousands of years. Until the 1920s, they all retained and promoted their unique culture, history and language, without harming each other's identities. However, the inception of the Pahlavi dynasty's supremacist policy in the 20s has endangered this semi-harmonious way of life.

With his alleged national unity policy, Reza Shah Pahlavi designed a plan, forcing all non-Persians to sacrifice their ethnic identity and language, in order to fulfill his vision of purely Persian Iran. Unfortunately, his successors, including the Islamic Republic, followed and perfected his inhumane conduct. Subsequent results have been brutal against all persons not of Persian descent. Azerbaijanis, Kurds, Loris, Beluchis, Arabs and Turkomans have been under tremendous Persianization. Iran's reformist leader, President Khatami, deceived the global community with his talk of "dialogue between civilizations," meanwhile suppressing the people of Iran by ignoring Human Rights in general and Azerbaijani Turks in particular. However the reaction of World Human Rights’ organizations to this assimilation and rather cultural genocide has been very slow and ineffective due to lack of objective information from South Azerbaijan (Iran).

 

More than 25 million Azerbaijanis are on the verge of losing their language and rich cultural heritage, which they have preserved for thousands of years. They are paying heavy tolls to obtain Iran's purported "national unity." This “national unity” with “Islamic” and fanatically supported theocratic government is determined to annihilate Azerbaijani national and ethnic identity, the Iranian government has participated in forced assimilation and other methods of Persianization to create a monolingual "national unity." We would like to briefly highlight some of them:

 

Policy on Language

 

The Constitution of Islamic Republic of Iran in the article 15 claims: "The state and common language and script of Iran is Persian. Documents. Correspondence, official texts and text books shall be in this language and script. However, the use of local and ethnic language in the press and for the mass media and the teaching of their literature shall be allowed, besides the Persian language."

The Constitution Revolution in 1905-1911, the Democratic movement in 1945-46 and subsequent agreement by the Iranian government to guarantee ethnic rights as well as the constitution of Islamic Republic have for some degree taken ethnic grievances into consideration. However, the Iranian governments have all been against honoring their promises and the constitution.

The Iranian government has banned the Azerbaijani Turkish language in schools. Education is available only in the Persian language. Many first grade school children struggle to understand school books written in Persian. Those children unaccustomed to Persian suffer high drop out rates. To prevent this, some parents teach their children Persian as their primary language, rather than their native Azerbaijani Turkish. Said Persian instruction usually comes at the expense of children's mastery of Azerbaijani Turkish, thus children are encouraged to replace Persian with their mother tongue for social and job advancement.

Television and radio broadcasts help to propagate the hybridized Azerbaijani Turkish, considered a local language. So-called "local languages," however, are rarely used and thus marginalized, with Persian predominating Iranian media. Azerbaijani Turkish ,in fact, has no place Islamic Republic’s midia.

Discrimination operates in other ways, as well. In cities like Tabriz, where Azerbaijanis comprise more than 99% of the population, the judiciary and government systems still must operate solely in Persian. Incredulously, proceedings for a lawsuit comprised of a Azerbaijani plaintiff and an Azerbaijani defendant in a Azerbaijani city, with an Azerbaijani judge, prosecutor and defense lawyer, must be conducted in, not Azerbaijani Turkish, but Persian.

The Iranian government's destruction of language is one part of the multi-pronged attack to eliminate Azerbaijani ethnic identity. If this policy persists, Azerbaijani identity is doomed to perish.

Policy on History

Azerbaijani Turks have been living in the Iranian plateau for thousands of years. Their history dates back to 5,000.BC . Their contributions to humanity include the creation of peaceful civilizations and the invention of the first alphabet, cuneiform, and written laws. Persian tribes migrated to the southeast and central Iranian lateau some 2700 years ago. Before Persian entry existed the Sumerian, Ilamaite, Assyrian and Mead civilizations, among others. Their histories should not be excluded from Iranian history lessons in schools, but, as it is, Iranian schoolchildren are taught to believe the birth of the Iranian people comes with the arrival of the Persian tribes. This revisionist history alleges that Azerbaijanis were actually Iranian Aryans forced to change their language, upon the arrival and subsequent rule of the Mongolians 800 years ago. Stemming from this distorted history is the argument that Azerbaijanis should forget their language, that is, the language of foreign invaders, and accept Persian as their true and original language. Moving Westward, Mongolians first had to conquer predominantly Persian areas, before occupying Azerbaijan. Mongolians had no impetus or wherewithal to arbitrate which portion of the Iranian plateau's inhabitants should accept their language and which portions should be left untouched.

Contrary to the claims of the Persianization policymakers, Azerbaijanis, like the Persians, Arabs and Kurds, had their own distinct language, culture and governing bodies well before the arrival of the Mongolians. Iranian children's history books should reflect all ethnic groups' historical roots, rather than the Persian-only revisionism. Policymakers bend history to create the allusion of inclusiveness to fool Azerbaijanis into thinking they are a people without history.

Policy on Historical Monuments and Geographical Toponyms

The Iranian government has attempted to destroy monuments not serving their assimilation policy or has left them to be destroyed naturally. Furthermore, they have changed or distorted geographical names, in efforts to eliminate Azerbaijani Turkish names in Azerbaijan. Iran has not tried to preserve any historical monuments, deliberately destroying some. Recently, the Iranian government bulldozed a vast expanse of the 700-year-old Erk Castle in Tabriz, leaving on the central grounds in tact. Bulldozing was said to make room for Friday prayers.

In further attempts to erase Azerbaijani culture, the Iranian government has repeatedly fractured Azerbaijan into increasingly smaller administrative territories and eliminated the name "Azerbaijan" from most of the aforementioned areas. Over the last 60 years, parts of Azerbaijan have been divided into five Azerbaijani-controlled areas, with some outlying areas partitioned to other non-Azerbaijani governingbodies. Portions of the once-Azerbaijani territory have since been redistricted into the provinces of Gilan, Merkezi Tehran, Qazvin and Kurdistan. Of the five Azerbaijani-controlled regions, three, Zanjan, Hamadan and Ardabil, no longer retain the name Azerbaijan.

Within these provinces, names of geographical sites and cities have been altered, translated into Persian or reassigned derogatory names. In either case, actions have been made to remove all original Azerbaijani meaning and historical references.

Sample of Names translated to Persian

A river formerly known as Aji Chay is now known as Telkhiyye Rood

A river formerly known as Qara Su is now known as Siyah Rood

A region formerly known as Qara Dagh is now known as Siyah Kooh or

Arasbaran

A mountain Formerly known as Goy Dagh is now known as Kuh Sabz

A district formerly known as Devechi in now known as Shotorban

A city formerly known as Qoshachay is now known as Mianduab

Sample of Names Misrepresented (to make it look as if it is Persian)

A mountain formerly known as Savalan is now known as Sebelan

A region formerly known as Serderi is now known as Serdrud

A district formerly known as Yam is now known as Peyam

A mineral Fountain formerly known as Erkoyun is now known as Erkevan

Sample of Some Assigned Derogatory Names

An area formerly known as Akhma Qaya is now known as Ahmeghiyyeh

"Akhma Qya" in Azerbaijani Turkish means "giant rocks on the move" while "Ahmeghiyyeh" in Persian refers to "stupidity, land of stupid people"

An area formerly known as Sari Qaya is now known as Sareghiyyeh

Sari Qaya in Azerbaijani means "Yellow Ston or Yellow Rock" while "Sareghiyyeh" in Persian refers to a "place of thieves and robbers"

 

Sample of Names simply replaced

A city formerly known as Savuc Bulaq is now known as Mehabad

A city formerly known as Sulduz is now known as Neghedeh

A town formerly known as Tufarqan is now known as Azer Shehr

 

Policy on Economy and Migration

In comparison to Persian areas, Azerbaijani-inhabited regions have been purposely underdeveloped. Most heavy industry is concentrated in central Iran, chiefly occupied by Persians. The government has fostered a better climate for investment in central Iran. Most Azerbaijani businessmen flee to central Iran, seeking better returns on their investments. In turn, Azerbaijanis in increasing numbers relocate to central Iran to find work. Having migrated to primarily Persian areas, Azerbaijanis appropriate Persian language and culture. Already, more than ten million Azerbaijanis live in central Iran, with most unable to speak Azerbaijani Turkish. The Iranian government uses the economic situation to promote its agenda of Persianization.

Policy on Original Azerbaijani names

The Iranian government Prevents Azerbaijani parents from naming their newborns with meaningful Azerbaijani names. Said parents are often asked to translate their favorite Azerbaijani names into Persian . Difficult to translate names are asked to be replaced with a "common Iranian name" Birth certificates are given to infants with a government approved name only.

Sample Azerbaijani names that must be translated before issued a birth certificate

Aynaz (Azerbaijani) to Mehnaz (Persian)

Gozel (Azerbaijani) to Ziba (Persian)

Deniz (Azerbaijani) to Derya (Persian)

Azerbaijani names such as, Sevda, Sevgi, Aygun, Altan, Turkan, Yashil,

Gungor, Tomriz, Sevil, Chichek, Qaflan, .. are not allowed while all

last names have been Persianized.

 

Political Parties and Associations

Every attempt in rallying against injustices towards ethnic rights have been denied. All political parties and associations must be nationwide, approved and licensed by the government. Political associations concentrating on ethnic issues are shut down immediately. Groups or individuals defending ethnic rights are arrested and either charged with "spying for foreign countries" and executed or imprisoned and tortured. Parliamentary representations are under strict scrutiny. Any candidate campaigning on human and ethnic rights is disqualified and arrested immediately. Numerous petitions to Iranian authorities by Azerbaijanis( i.e. academicians, university students and journalists) to lift the ban on Azerbaijani language have been ignored.

Conclusion

Iran is a multiethnic, multi-culture and multilingual country and signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted and proclaimed by United Nations General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) December 10, 1948. Iranian governments have been engaged in destruction of ethnic identities and forced assimilation of more than 30 million Azerbaijani Turks. While most articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including articles, 1, 2, 19, 20-1, 21-3, 26,3, 27-1, have continuously been violated by Iranian governments, the victimized Azerbaijanis are looking for help from the same universal body, the United Nations, that adopted and proclaimed these resolutions.

On December 18, 1992, The UN General Assembly (A/RES/47/135) reaffirms that on of the main purposes of the United Nations, "Declaration on the Rights of the Persons Belonging to the National or Ethnic, Religion and Linguistic Minorities," as proclaimed in the charter of the United Nations, is to achieve international cooperation in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion. Article 1, 2 and 4 of said resolution declares:

Article 1

1. States shall protect the existence and the national or ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic identity of minorities within their respective territories and shall encourage conditions for the promotion of that identity.

2. States shall adopt appropriate legislative and other measures to achieve those ends.

Article 2

1. Persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic

minorities (hereinafter referred to as persons belonging to minorities) have the right to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practise their own religion, and to use their own language, in private and in public, freely and without interference or any

form of discrimination.

2. Persons belonging to minorities have the right to participate effectively in cultural, religious, social, economic and public life.

3. Persons belonging to minorities have the right to participate effectively in decisions on the national and, where appropriate, regional level concerning the minority to which they belong or the regions in which they live, in a manner not incompatible with national legislation.

4. Persons belonging to minorities have the right to establish and maintain their own associations.

5. Persons belonging to minorities have the right to establish and maintain, without any discrimination, free and peaceful contacts with other members of their group and with persons belonging to other minorities, as well as contacts across frontiers with citizens of other States to whom they are related by national or

ethnic, religious or linguistic ties.

Article 4.4

4. States should, where appropriate, take measures in the field of education, in order to encourage knowledge of the history, traditions, language and culture of the minorities existing within their territory. Persons belonging to minorities should have adequate opportunities to gain knowledge of the society as a whole.

 

 

 

www.southaz.blogspot.com

 

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more from Savalan
 
Savalan

Iranian Azerbaijani rights

by Savalan on

Alright guys this whole "pan-turk" and "separatist" bit is starting to get really old. Can you guys (Persians) please come up with at least some kind of new accusation for anyone fighting for Azerbaijani rights? I mean come on, it's a little worn out.


simitenbiri

Let's discuss ethnicity issue. No use accusing.

by simitenbiri on

 

Thank you for  MM and  Amir Sahameddin Ghiassi who at least  to  responded in a logical manner without changing the subject . Unfortunately the rest basicly repeating the same arguments. They do not respond to any of the points that Savalan has put forward.  There is no response to the difficulties which millions of their youngsters experiencing in learning the "official language" before learning to read and write in their own language.  No one cares to the faith of the people who have to deal with court system and bureaucracy in total foreign language.

Mr Kadivar accuses a lot and writes a lot, without responding to any of the issues raised in the article.

 

This yet again proves that Fars intellectuals and media are not interested in solving this issue, and this is bad news. Why? because history shows issues which are not dealt with, grow worse.

 

 


MRX1

Respect

by MRX1 on

You know I respect these people if they just come out and say they are seperatist and done with it, instead of boring us to death with their jibrish, lie  and utter none sense. (Tekrar mokararat) Furthemrore how in the world all these so called discriminations have been done to Azerbijan (or is it Azarbijan?) and by whom if majority of dynasties that ruled Iran for the past 1000 years were Turkish in orgin. I guess then Azerbijanis discrimiated against themself then!


Amir Sahameddin Ghiassi

How is USA, the model of USA or even Europe?

by Amir Sahameddin Ghiassi on

I think in USA more different people are living than as Iran. We should do the same thing. Like in USA, respect our people, their religions, their customs and their language, but one national language, the language of the majority. Our country is divided many times, many Iranian are living in other countries. We should be united again. Like United States of Turan and Iran or of Middle East. Iran is the name of the land and people who are in different countries. Like Pashtons in Khorasan or Aryana. A group of scholar can give the best answer. In many countries in the world many different people are living and the majorities are governing with the help or all other people. Is that not the democracy? The majorities rule and the other people critics and guide.


Amir Sahameddin Ghiassi

For a united Iran and Toran

by Amir Sahameddin Ghiassi on

بنی آدم اعضای یک پیکرند  که در آفرینش زیک گوهرند.  توکز محنت دیگران بی غمی  نشاید که نامت نهند آدمی. درخت تو گر بار دانش بگیرد  به زیر آوری چرخ نیلوفری را..این همه جنگ و جدل حاصل کوته نظری است  چون درون پاک کنی حرم دیر یکی کعبه بت خانه یکی است.


MM

The problem of

by MM on

The problem of diversity in ethnicity/languages is not something unique to Iran.  Iranian minorities are proud of their local race/language/customs and this diversity needs to be respected.  India has 18 officially designated languages with probably hundreds of local dialects of these major languages.  See how they dealt with this problem, for example, the Tamils refused to learn/speak Hindi, so....

http://adaniel.tripod.com/Languages1.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_with_official_status_in_India

Or, Switzerland has more than four major languages in their land.  The Swiss solution:  Just teach all four languages to the children as they grow up.

http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/articles/article/Switzerland/Languages-in-Switzerland/223

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_Switzerland

So, there are solutions out there.  I am not advocating that we learn all local languages, but we just need to look at how different nations dealt with the problem and fit the best model to the Iranian version, instead of trying to re-invent the wheel everytime.


oktaby

adamnan eshak olmaseydi,

by oktaby on

eshakin biri yuz million gheimatiydi.

several points already made. This is not just rubbish. It is mal-informed, mal-intended, malicious and Un-Iranian. IRR forces 'sadat' in front of all girl names along with other endless retardations on every imaginable portion of society along any lines they can find.

Indeed this falsehood can only be propagated by an islamist as a wedge, or a opportunist separatist khaen.

Iran's beautiful diversity has been a source of strength and cultural advances throughout our history. Something in the modern times only United States could duplicate in a half baked fashion.

OKtaby


afshinazad

Not true

by afshinazad on

I am from Azarbayjan and it is not true what you claiming in this blog and most azaries do not care about bunch of separatist and power lovers and old dream of united azarbayjan since soviet time.who is runing most Iranian economy in Tehran and the answer to you is Azaries,Iran needs freedom and social justice first and these are very small problems could be solved and names could be changed. this is not we want now and if we are smart and love our country we should uinte and we should start removing the cancer first and recovery comes after that. Freedom is first and restoring the internally and externally policies and rebuilding bankrupt economy.there are a lot of problems in our country which is not on the table yet and if you see them and if you only could imagine that,trust me you would not advocate the separatism.


ali_UK

Utter rubbish

by ali_UK on

I have never read such rubbish regarding ethnicity in Iran.

 


Darius Kadivar

COP Jaan don't be fooled It's Obvious who these people are ...

by Darius Kadivar on

Separatists disguised under the cloak of Federalists or a pseudo Democratic opposition.  

As Such you are Quite Right COP Jaan to be suspicious of this article.

At the sake of repeating myself in her (or His) other blog:

NO To "Federalism" YES to "Partnership" (i.e: Round Table)

Another Clueless Suggestion product of another Immature proposition, itself product of an even more immature mind which not surprisingly gets the endorsement of individuals who can hardly distinguish between the symbolic significance in a nation's collective psyche of such terminologies as Parsi vs Farsi ...

Sorry to disappoint you in your blind enthusiatic endorsements but Federalism Only makes sense in a Region (I.e: Europe) where Frontiers are Secure and the territorial integrity of a nation is not subject to threat.

Federalism in Germany made sense (and makes sense today ) including during the Cold War on it's Western Partition was immersed within the Western European Union and had Only One Frontier to be worried about and that was it's Eastern Front with Check Point Charlie:

Berlin, Germany: Checkpoint Charlie:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksaW2gjpVbs

It did not stop it from Uniting under One Flag after the Eastern Communist Bloc Melted and the Berlin Wall torn down ...

But for Iran given the political dynamics and geostrategic rivalries in the region that is another matter ...

On the otherhand I can fully understand when ethnic, religious or cultural minorities demand more autonom, freedom of action and responsability but then that is no different from let's say Scotland in a Constitutional Monarchy like Great Britain where has found a strong spokesperson in the person of Sean Connery:

SNP supporter Sean Connery speaking - 1999:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6cc6QobxEo

Which did not stop him from entusiastically accepting Knighthood from the Tip of the Sword of Queen Elizabeth herself:

http://www.seanconnery.com/biography/knighthood/

Debate over SNP supporter Sean Connery's knighthood :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frFLt6ppJ84

The same could be said in Republican France of the Corsicans:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aHxaTjavCQ

or the Basque's(Which are divided between France's Republic and Spain's Monarchy) :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpWADFDn6VY&feature=fvst 

both regions which are distinguished by a different language and ethnic background that truly separates them culturally from the rest of the country. Yet they are both part of the Undivisible French Republic which refuses to grant them independance which has been the source often of a violent rejection of Republican Rule by a minor few trying to impose it's stubborn vision on the rest of the population which has no problem in living under the same roof ( including administratively) as the rest of the nation.

I don't wish to brandish a paranoiac argument in defense of territorial integrity each time a minority ( ethnic, religious, linguistic or other ...) has demands which can be understandable and even justifiable in some cases as is the case of the Kurds for instance who have been subject to discrimination by the central government particularly after the Revolution :

HISTORY OF VIOLENCE: Pulitzer Prize Photo of Rebels Executed by Iran's Revolutionaries (1979)

Secret War on Iran

Iran Urges Iraqi Action On Kurdish Rebels which it brands as "Terrorist Groups" 

Human Rights Watch: "End Repression in Kurdish Areas of Iran"

 

Or not entirely satisfied despite their recurrent demands of acknowledgment of their specific individualities within the national community:

 

David & Layla : When Love Transcends Religious Prejudice by Darius KADIVAR

 

A PERSIAN ROSE BLOOMS: An Interview with actress Shiva Rose McDermott by Darius KADIVAR

 

THE PRICE OF FREEDOM: Manouchehr Vossough Leaves Iran thanks to Kurd Rebels (1978/79)

DIPLOMATIC HISTORY: Shah of Iran Grants Assylum to Kurdish Prince Dawood Beg Jaff (1958)

 

DIPLOMATIC HISTORY: Shah of Iran Grants Assylum to Kurdish Prince Dawood Beg Jaff (1958)

 

ROYALTY AND THE PEOPLE: Shah meets Kurdish Representatives (1948)

But Federalism in a region like the Middle East entirely plunged in a constant struggle of geo strategic rivalries which leave little doubt as to the instrumentalization of regional divisions from all powers present makes the very idea of federalism as inadequate to the realities of a nation's survival and peaceful coexistance.

I say this all the more comfortably that within my own camp ( Constitutional Monarchists that is ...) there are talks and promises being delivered that if Iran is liberated such a scenario or eventuality can be considered. I know that the Crown Prince for instance is not hostile to the idea of Federalism. I am ... which means that debate even amongst Constitutionalists is not only possible But healthy.

From that point of view I share some of former Minister of Health of Dr. Shapour Bakhtiar's government, Manouchehr Razmara's concerns:

See Blog by Tapesh

Which does not stop me from being loyal to the Monarchist cause and the the man I consider as my Sovereign Crown Prince Reza nevertheless ...

But Federalism has it's roots in the idea that we cannot live under the same roof without sharing responsabilities of governance in a fair and equitable way.

I stand against that argument for several reasons which I could develope if I had more time but which can be be boiled down to three arguments:

1) Democracy is a collective experience which we have failed to practice to the fullest in the past 100 years. We need to prove we can already agree to disagree and live through the political transition from not only the current dictatorship but the democratic society which is supposed to emerge with it's huge demands for freedom. That in itself is a task which we need to come to terms with in the first place in order to prove to ourselves that we can handle democracy and political sharing in a mature way.

2) Before creating dozen's of individual constitutions in order to satisfy a given minority ( in a federal sense of the word) in a bid to opportunistically win their votes, we need to apply a constitution which will be accepted by the majority of the people and mutually acceptable between the elected governing body(i.e: The government) and the nation at large (i.e:  the people).

3) We are Not even culturally Prepared for a United States of IRANICA !

The Transition between a Post IRI Iran and a Fully Democratic Iran with a Flexible institution which can guarantee individual and collective rights, freedom of assembly and Human Rights all within a democratic framework is to ultimate goal seeked by all who genuinely believe in democracy regardless of which ideological, philisophical or political background they belong or wish to belong to.

Federalism can indeed be a far fetched and commendable goal in the context of a Middle East where country's live in peaceful coexistance and fully understand the advantages and responsabilities that such a social construction implies. 

Outside such an ideal context which can only be achieved on the long run if let's say Israel and it's Arab neighbours make peace and that the region evolves towards democratic institutions regardless of whether or not they are Republics like Syria or Egypt or Monarchies like Jordan or Saudi Arabia, ( and even maybe Constitutional Monarchy like Iran in a forseable Future if it were to happen) Federalism is nothing but Smoke in the eyes. It is merely a separatis argument which consists of saying we cannot get along as a nation and therefore let's all selfishly try and govern ourselves without having to rely on the central government.

Sorry that will be simply the end of Iran as we know it.

The current problems faced by the incompetant IRI in regard to the Baloutch terrorist groups is another result of the disastrous policies undertaken by the Current Religious Republic in denying any form of recognition and respect for it's minorities. Something which was less the case be it symbolically or publically under the Monarchy where the Crown was the Symbol of National Unity:

ROYALTY AND THE PEOPLE: Farah Pays Respect to Baloutch Sunni Minority (1970's)

ROYALTY AND THE PEOPLE: Shah meets Kurdish Representatives (1948)

As such Federalism is simply a REPUBLICAN OFFSPRING whose historical roots and ramifications are PERFECTLY KNOWN to All who have a minimum knowledge in our contemporary history :

Video: Soviet Propaganda Film - Iran, Tabriz 1945-46

REPUBLICAN OFFSPRING: Massoud Rajavi at Tehran University during Presidential Campaign (1980)

As Such I firmly am opposed to Federalism on the short term including in a Post IRI Iran. On a long term basis such demands have and should have a place for an open debate in a democratically elected parliament given that everything is subject to change in society.

If collectively we learn to accept such differences and the possibility of peacefully granting freedom/autonomy or even independance of a given region due to incompatible differences which cannot be overcome otherwise. Then Why Not ? But if France cannot give up Corsica or the Basque countryside nor Great Britain give up Scotland ( and I am not even mentioning their old feud with their Irish Neighbours) I do not see why we should precipitate our own chances of a collective national coexistance under one Roof embodied by a Fully Democratic Constitution in the name of another obscure and divisive concept called A "Federal Republic" or "Federalism" for that matter. Which is nothing else than being a Party Pooper and wanting to play it solo as in a classroom when one student doesn't wish to be a good sport in a collective exercise or homework.

 

Nope Sorry Folks: If we wish to see a democratic Iran we need to survive the COLLECTIVE TEST of Living under  ONE CONSTITUION be it gathered around a "Round Table" where each party can have it's say and debate freely and without fear on the options available:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGtKu2ovTYc

But playing it solo as suggested in such federalistic demands even cloaked under the respectable disguise of "intellectual discourse" will be fatal to any successful democratic experience in a Post IRI Iran.

I can only regret that our current Intellectual Elite particularly in our ever clueless diaspora is essentially composed of wishful UNIMAGINATIVE thinkers and day dreamers but alas Not of well thought intellectually honest and realistic Visionaries as one of our greatest patriots who paid the ultimate price for that collective dream we call "Democracy and Human Rights" ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNBFTWXz5_Q

Lastly may I quote a Great Canadian author wise words which are alas equally applicable to our country's sad predicament today:

 "A Country that Loses it's Poetic Vision is a Country that faces death" -Saul Bellow

My Humble Opinion,

DK


Cost-of-Progress

Pahlavis are gone

by Cost-of-Progress on

Islamists are in now.

Are you happy the way they have treated ethnic groups in Iran? How about religious minorities?

Iran, as you said, is one country and granted there are many etnicities and groups that make up her rich history and culture - it is still one country. It needs to have one (official) language and one law and while the different factions must be free to live their lives as they wish, IT IS STILL ONE country.

From what I remember and know, some ethnicities have been beating the drums of cessation for a good while. Take Samad Behrangi who advocated a separate educational ssytem for Azaris (Persian Turks) as well as an automonous government. How does that help Iran stay a homogenous country?

As long there are folks like you who post 4-5 blogs after they sign on as a blogger to make their cessationist points, we can expect fracture and division to continue which empowers and emboldens the anti-nationalist mullahs ruling our motherland.

These types of advocacies are nothing but separatist wish lists - If we hope to rid our motherland of the cancer of clergy, we must unite.

You are advocating the opposite.

____________

IRAN FIRST

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