The USSD Report 2008 stated that:“Ethnic Azeris comprised approximately one-quarter of the country’s population, were well integrated into government and society, and included the supreme leader among their numbers. However, Azeris complained of ethnic and linguistic discrimination by the government, including banning the Azeri language in schools, harassing Azeri activists or organizers, and changing Azeri geographic names. Azeri groups also claimed there were a number of Azeri political prisoners jailed for advocating cultural and language rights for Iranian Azeris. The government charged several of them with ‘revolting against the Islamic state’.”
In the AI Report 2009 it was noted that: “Activists continued to call for the Azerbaijani Turkic language to be used in schools and government services in the areas where Azerbaijani Iranians mainly live. Dozens of activists were arrested in February  in connection with demonstrations on International Mother Language Day.”
A Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) article, dated 26 July 2008,reported that Vedud Asadi, well-known for promoting the cultural and language rights of Iran’s Azeri minority, was arrested without charge two weeks after his wedding. The report added: “The ethnic-Azeri minority makes up 25-33 percent of Iran’s population. While the Iranian Constitution provides language and cultural rights for the country’s minorities, the regime has banned the teaching of the Azeri language in schools, and harassed and jailed activists like Asadi.” On 24 August 2008 it was reported that Vedud Asadi had been released on bail after being illegally detained for 34days in Rasht, an Azerbaijani city by the Khazar Sea.