In response to Saeed's article “Yaashaasoon Azarbaijan“, I am also a Persian, just like Saeed, however, I highly disagree with him. His comments are also a bit offensive, not only to me, but probably to many other Iranians who have Azaris in their family, like I do. Azaris have not only been an integral part of Iran, but it is also because of them that Iran exists today and that the Persian language and Iranian culture have survived.
Saeed is, in my opinion, one of those disillusional Persians who has been sucked into the Western view on history and doesn't know the history of his country as much as he thinks. I would like to make one thing clear to Saeed and all other Iranians of the Persian ethnic group, there has never been an empire or nation called Persia by Iranians. Iranians, including Persians, have always referred to their land as Iran or variations of that (Ariana, Arya, Iran Zameen, etc…). Saeed says he would support Azari seperation, but what he is actually saying is that he would support Persian seperation. He is one of the rare and few Persian sepratists, who sees everthing in terms of Persian and non-Persian.
Well Mr. Saeed, let me give you a bit of a history lesson. First of all, Ismail, the founder of the Safavid dynasty of the Iranian Empire (which the West mistakenly calls Persia, adopted from the Greeks who called Iran, Persis), was a follower of a sect started by a Persian, called Shia'ism. So in many ways, Iran has been under the yoke of Shia Islam for the past 800 years, not Azaris. The Safavids spread the new sect of Islam, which ever since has been governing Iranian politics. So its not the Azaris, its the religion.
Also, Mr. Saeed says that the Azaris “conquered” Iran and that they were never part of Iran. That is not true. Ismail never set off on the intention of setting up a new nation, that is why Iran exists today. Ismail set off to become the new shah and start his own dynasty. The Safavids spoke Persian, encouraged and spread the use of the Persian language, and eventually became Persianified through their own policies. The Safavids, as well as the Qajars later, used the term Persia internationally (with Western countries, and this is proven through documents, treaties, etc…) and the term Iran internally. They saw themselves as one dynasty within a series of dynasties. Also, Mr. Saeed makes it seem as though Azari got together and built Azari only armies to attack the Persians and conquer them.
That is not true. They were most likely Kurds, Persians, and Azaris along with others in the armies and the administration. In fact, there were many Persians in the administrative posts of the Safavid Empire, as well as the Moghul Empire and many other empires. Back then, the people did not think in terms of ethnic group, they thought in terms of religious groups; it was Sunni vs. Shia, and in Iran the Shias came out on top. Even Today, Khamenei, who is from an Azari family, thinks only in terms of religious sect and not ethnic sect, and he has stated many times that he is Iranian and Iranian only, and once when asked if he spoke Azari or Persian at home, he said Persian because that was the language of Iran. Also, Azaris have always been part of Iran since the time of the Medeans 3000 years ago. They are a part of Iranian history and every aspect of them is Iranian.
The bottom line is that under this regime, and any other dictatorial regime, all ethnic groups will suffer. The regime in Iran holds no loyalty to neither the Azaris nor the Persians, only to Shia Islam. Although Persians and Azaris get the best treatment in Iran by this fascist dictatorial regime, Persians get just a little bit more. The regime does get most of their support from Azari (just due to the fact that Azaris tend to be more devout Shia muslims), which is why they are treated nicely, but because the Persians are the majority, the regime tries to keep them happy (although as evident, most Persians are sick and tired of this regime, as well as Azaris, Kurds, and others).
It's not about Persian or Azari, Mr. Saeed is just trying to look for a scapegoat, and he finds that in Azaris. He wants to blame Iran's weakness on them, Iran's isolation on them, and Iran's shame on them because he doesn't want to take responsibility for it. Well Mr. Saeed, what about the millions of Persians who supported the rise of this regime during the revolution, is all of this not their fault too? Iran is a multi ethnic nation, and its history is great because of its diversity, not despite it. Azaris are and have always been loyal Iranians. They have bled for Iran just as much as Persians have bled for Iran, they have worked for Iran just as Persians have worked for Iran, and they have cried for Iran just as Persians have cried for Iran.
Mr. Saeed also says “we, the Aryan Iranians” like that makes us superior. Well let me tell you something, historical facts proove that Azaris were turkified, so doesnt that technically make them of the Iranic race also? Iranian Azaris are just as much part of Iran as you, and all the Iranian Azaris I have ever talked to show their loyalty and patriotism for Iran, and they all hate the regime in power. We need to recognise ourselves as Iranian and Iranian only, not by ethnic group, if we want to be a united strong nation!
And to make things even more clear to you, historians have still not concluded whether the Safavids were Turkic or Iranic, but most likely they were Turkic. For example, many historians believe that Ismail's parents were Kurdish and Persian, while others belive Kurdish and Turkic. Its not clear, but at the end of the day, it doesn't matter.
Typical Iranian, never wanting to take responsibility for anything, but always ready to find a scapegoat. No wonder our nation is messed up, and no wonder our soccer team doesn't learn from its mistakes. Us Iranians tend to keep repeating the same mistakes, shame on you Mr. Saeed, and shame on any Iranian, whether Kurd, Balouch, Azari, Persian, etc… who wants to take the easy way out and blame all of their problems on something or someone else, instead of trying to make Iran a better place for their children.