Alireza Asgharzadeh

Discusses racism towards Azarbaijani Iranians

Alireza Asgharzadeh teaches the sociology of knowledge, the sociology of education, and comparative educational systems in the Department of Sociology at York University. He is the author of "Iran and the Challenge of Diversity: Islamic Fundamentalism, Aryanist Racism, and Democratic Struggles" which "interrogates the racist construction of Arya/Aria and Aryanism in an Iranian context, arguing that a racialized interpretation of these concepts has given the Indo-European speaking Persian ethnic group an advantage over Iran’s non-Persian nationalities and communities. Based on multidisciplinary research drawing on history, sociology, literature, politics, anthropology and cultural studies, Alireza Asgharzadeh critiques the privileged place of Farsi and the Persian ethnic group in contemporary Iran. The book highlights difference and diversity as major socio-political issues that will determine the future course of social, cultural, and political developments in Iran."

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5



برنامه کردی تلویزیون نوروز در خصوص حکومت ملی آذربایجان


این برنامه نگاهی می اندازد به نحوه شکل گیری حکومت ملی آذربایجان به رهبری جعفر پیشه‌وری و رابطه آن با حکومت مهاباد به رهبری قاضی محمد.


Dirty Angel

Although, obviously national identity is beyond dumb

by Dirty Angel on

Although, obviously national identity and any other locational forms of identity are beyond dumb, I have to say, nevertheless, this has been -  yet another -  a bit of veryfying, predictable eye-opener... (and about other matters too....)

"The shorter the life, the longer the death."


The Belief in the Purification of Aryan Race of Iran...

by Savalan on

Drawing on discredited European racist views, the dominant discourse in Iran equates language with race and tries to fabricate Indo-European language ties for non-Farsi speaking peoples such as the Azeri-Turks in an attempt to show that over a thousand years ago they spoke an Indo-European language and are therefore Aryan. As such, they should cleanse themselves of their inferior linguistic/ethnic/cultural identity and become one with ‘the superior Aryan race’ by speaking the language of this race: Farsi. This kind of racist reconstruction of prehistoric (imaginary) languages essentializes race-based and language-based identities and prioritizes them based on a fabricated history of origins, arrivals, etc., giving rise to the absurd idea about who has come earlier than whom, who has come first, who has come second, who has come last, whose language was spoken earlier than the others; and who, as a result, should have mastery over others. These kinds of non-sensical absurdities serve to create unnecessary competitions among various ethnic/national groups which lead to animosity, mistrust and lack of cooperation among them, while leaving them vulnerable to be colonized and assimilated by the dominant racist order.

The Iranian racist order openly proscribes non-Farsi languages in the country, banning them from becoming languages of education, instruction, learning, correspondence, and governance. By banning non-Farsi languages, the dominant group violates minoritized communities’ identities; subjugates their minds, and brutalizes their spirits. It supplants the indigenous names of geographical landmarks, cities, towns, villages, and streets; appropriates ancient heroes, historical figures, literary figures, scientists, movie stars, popular singers, dancers, and artists belonging to the marginalized communities. It prevents non-Farsi speaking communities from naming their children as they wish, using their own indigenous languages, cultures, names, words, signs, and symbols, forcing them instead to use names and symbols approved by the dominant discourse and praxis.

maziar 58

savalan khan

by maziar 58 on

I'll fight(literaly) for the Azarbayjan's RIGHTS  only IF Baku,Nakhjavan,Ashtarkhan and all other corners are fully RETURNED to the Iranian teritory (with out Mollahs).

otherwise the Iran as-is ,where-is  with Turks,Arabs,beluch,kurd ...are all IRANIAN period.

UN can put pressure on the Rapist Republic for 32 yrs of killing,imprisonment and miseries for all Iranians.          Maziar


Iranian Azerbaijani Human Rights Abuuse

by Savalan on

Many different human rights organizations in the USA, the European Union and democratic countries across the world as well as the United Nations are involved in the strive of the non-Persian nations living inside Iran. The united nations report written on Iranian Azerbaijan and the ethnic Azerbaijani Turks lists the following as specific complaints received by the Special Representative which represents the concerns of the Azerbaijani nation in Iran:

1. Denial of cultural autonomy

2. Harassment and imprisonment of cultural activists

3. The banning of the use of the Azerbaijani Turkish language in schools

4. The use of Farsi-Turkish hybrid, rather than pure Azeribaijani Turkish, on television and radio

5. Teaching in schools that the birth of the Iranian people came with the arrival of the Persian tribes and that the Azerbaijani people are Iranian Aryans, forced to change their language upon the arrival of the Mongolians

6. Changing or distorting Azerbaijani geographical names

7. Refusal to register a child with an Azerbaijani name

These are just some of the complains brought to the attention of the United Nations by Iran's Azerbaijani community.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Whom do

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


you prefer to live with: Iranian or Turk? I challenge you to ask this  from a Kurd or an Armenian. Who massacred them and to this day does. 

Yes, "Persians" are not perfect and have lots of flaws. But at least "we" do not massacre our neighbors because they are "minorities". We may crack a joke but won't crack their heads. We may think highly of our language but we are not genocidal. This pan-Turkic racism whine is so hypocritical as to set a record.


This "Savalan" is the modern version of "Mutlu". For those who don't remember the old "Unix news" groups I will explain. In the good old days we did not have the web. The equivalent of "blogs" were "newsgroups". You would post your comments just like on IC minus the graphics. There was a poster named "Mutlu" who would cut and past gibberish in response to anything with the words "Armenian" and "Genocide". It would post revisionist crap about how it was the Armenians who has massacred Turks; basically putting facts on their head. It was suspected Mutlu was actually a program that scanned newsgroups and auto-generated "response". These were just random paragraphs of the Turkish manufactured history. 


Lift the Ban on Azerbaijani Turkic in Iranian Schools

by Savalan on

In Iran ifferent tactics are used on different nations, and the goal of these different tactics which are used is to destroy the existance of non-Persians.

As of 2010, in a country that has more than 25 million Azerbaijani Turks, there is not even 1 school which teaches the native tongue of the people who are often considered the majority in Iran. there is not even 1 24 hour tv or radio station in the Turkish language of Azerbaijan.



To Savalan

by madadi2000 on

Please stop the copy & paste from other websites and nothing you said is factual.  If that was the case, then Shahriyar and the supreme leader would not be speaking Turkish to the public.

I am Persian (Mazandarani) and Iranian languages spoken by 80%+ of the population with Persian being the majority.  Your statistics are nonsense and you know it.  The population of Azerbaijani provinces is 7 million (makes 10%) and at most you can add another 10% from other areas. 

You better explain why pan-Turkism has commited 5 genocides of Zazas, Kurds, Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks, which is well known in history.  Where-as the nonsense of Asgharzadeh is not taken seriously by any historian.

So pan-Turkism is the fascist ideology of the region which has commited five genocides recognized by historians.  The so called "pan-Aryanism" is just an invented term by racist pan-Turkists to hide their dirty genocides.

As per self-determination, yes Turkey should give its Kurds and republic of Azerbaijan should give its Armenians (in Karabagh) self-determination.  Once they do, then we can talk.

There is also a principle of self-determination.  Azerbaijan has a largde Kurdish population(majority in Western Azerbaijan) and all parts of Iran, belong to all Iranians.  Historically speaking, Azerbaijan was speaking Persian languages, so that does not allow you to severe it from Iran.  However, if Turkey and Aliev let their minorities separate (like Lezgis, Armenians, Talyshs, KUrds).. then we can talk.



Economic, Social and Cultural Rights for All

by Savalan on

Every nation on earth whether they number 30,000 or 30 million, has the right to self-determination and is granted certain rights by even the most undemocratic, backward and totalitarian regimes which exist in the world today. Even in Afghanistan, a country that is far less developed socially, economically and strategically than Iran, nations living within the borders of this country have more national rights than 64% non-Persian population of Iran. For the last 80 years, Iranian nationalism and the ideology of Arian chauvinisim has sought to destroy the existance of non-Persian nations by tampering with their history, writing a fake history to brainwash non-Persians as well as the Persians themselves, stating that all the citizens of Iran are Aryans by blood and that their languages, cultures and national character is unimportant and was bestowed upon them by the invaders of the region.

marhoum Kharmagas

yes Hamshari,

by marhoum Kharmagas on

yes, Hamshari,

jange haftaado mellat (*) hame raa  ozr beneh,

chon nadidand haghighat, rahe afsaane zadand!

That is why despite my disagreements with Israel's policies, I don't believe that if Israel disappears tomorrow, everything is going to be peachy in ME!

(*) various sects of Islam, perhaps now more than 72!

Artificial Intelligence

My Dear Hamshari

by Artificial Intelligence on

I was generalizing and meant no offense. I was referring to the type of bigotry such as the one from another Hamshari in the link below. In my opinion bigotry is prevalent and institutionalized under IRI but racisim has not been part of our history (institutionalized) as a nation as far as I know.

Sorry it did not workout with you and the jewish esfooni girl. We could have been relatives maybe:)) I come from a very large family. 

I am sure you have seen this below:




marhoum Kharmagas

No wonder I fell in love with a Jewish esfahani girl! (to AI)

by marhoum Kharmagas on

AI says: "Iranians are not racist. Religious bigots yes, but not racist."

Hamshari, you are a more fair person than many right wing fascist Iranians who these days worship Israel. Of course they would easily worship Russia if they conclude that Russia might attack Iran....,   anyhow, no wonder I fell in love with a Jewish esvani girl (I had to jim fang from Iran and it did not work). 

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


Recent history is rife with examples of pan-Turkic racism. In particular the Armenian Genocide as well as treatment of Kurds. I am not going to give examples as a simple"Google" will get you pages of evidence on each one.It is shocking and shameful; specially to see the same people accuse others.

Neither one of these groups has suffered a similar treatment from Iranians. That speaks for itself.

Artificial Intelligence

Pure Nonsense

by Artificial Intelligence on

Iranians are not racist. Religious bigots yes, but not racist. 


Funny comments

by madadi2000 on

Everyone is free to read, learn and write Azeri in Iran.  Best proof of it is state tv and radio in Azeri, and the books published in Azeri (say by Shahriyar).

However the main educational language in Iran is Persian (based on 1906 constitution) and it has been that way historically.  Just like for example, Turks in Germany learn German or every ethnicity in the USA learns English.  There was some problems with pan-Turkism in Iran during World War I which made Iranian authorities sensitive (a portion left out by Asgharzadeh and other racist pan-Turk historians).


This made many Azeris nervous and instead they supported unification of Iran based on Persian language.  However, the main point of this is that it was pan-Turks attitude towards Iran that caused this policy and it was not Reza Shah, but people like Mahmud Afshar, Kasravi, even Khiyabani, Kazem Zadeh, Taqizadeh, Taqi Arrani and virtually all Azerbaijani intellectuals who did not want to become part of Turkey.

Anyone interested in this topic should read the book below:


Pan-Turkism is well and alive, and it is widely spread in Turkey and the republic of Azerbaijan.

Iran is much ahead of Turkey and the country of Azerbaijan (which has made almost the whole native Tat, Talysh and Kurd population disappear) in allowing minority languages, but in a future democratic Iran, along side the national official language, any minority language should also be thought (as long as the issue is not politicized). 

Overall, racists like Asgharzadeh are themselves the biggest racists and revisionists.  The guy actually believes Turks existed in Iran 5000 years ago, and all scholars are racist, because they don't believe his pan-Turk BS.


Discrimination against Persians

by madadi2000 on

Turks ruled Iran for 1000 years and Turkified(at least linguistically) large parts including Azerbaijan, Arran, Sherwan, Sogdiana, Chorasmia which were all Iranic speaking lands.  Many massacares are actually recorded in history including the Mongol massacare, majority of whose troops which were actually of Turkic stock.  However, no Persian/Iranian has any hatred for any Iranian wether they be speaking Persian languages, Turkish languages or others.  Only pan-Turks from Aliefdom are trying to incite hatred.  It should be noted, they have had an ethnic problem themselves which manifested in the awful Karabagh campaign where both groups commited massacares.  In Iran we never had such problems due to the fact that Iranians have mixed with each other for centuries, they have a common religion that binds them (Zoroastrianiasm at one time and now Shi'i Islam) and also due to the universal and humane nature of Iranian culture. 

Babak Khorramdin actually fought against Turks which is another story.  Saying Babak Khorramdin or Nezami(pan-turks put funny arguments here but luckily there are sources that state Ganja's population was overwhelmingly Persian with few Armenians at that time)  or Medes were Turks is like saying Changhiz Khan was a German. 



But in Turkey, you have had five genocides: Assyrians, Greeks, Armenians, Dersimis and Kurds.

On the Dersimis and Kurds, not too many people know about them, so I will provide the link here:



Note these are academic papers unlike the crap of Asgharzadeh, Poorpirar, Ghiyasabaadi which do not find their way in mainstream academia and leave no choices for these racist authors to accuse others of "racism", because no one believes the crap that someone like Babak Khorramdin could be related to Teymur, Changiz and Oghuz Turkic tribes.

The statistics used by pan-turks are ridocolous but the province with the highest degree of migration is Persian speaking Bushehr.  Bushehr, Souther KHorasan, Sistan, Hormozogaan and other Persian speaking provinces lack well behind development compared to Azerbaijan (and Tabriz which is the second industrial city of Iran).  The whole Baazaar of Tehran is controlled by Azerbaijanis (good for them) and right now, where as Kurds, Baluchs and Iranic groups have no representation in government, the number of Azerbaijanis is much higher than their population (around 20% of Iran).

As per history,  everyone knows the Medes were not Turks and only pan-Turkist jokers like Asgharzadeh comeup with such weird theories.  The funnies portion is trying to relate Akkadians, Sumerians, Elamites to Turks because they have typological feature called Agglunitation.  So in this came we should also put indo-european Tocharian, Germanic and etc. as well Dravidian, African, Georgian languages to be Elamite.  Looks like pan-Turk savalan has found another amatuer historian "Giyasabadi".. before it was poorpirar but that was becoming ridicolous.  Too bad none of the pan-Turkist and pan-Turkist liked historians are not taken seriously in academia.



Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

I Smell A Rat

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


I smell a rat. In a recent months many aspects of Iran have been under attack. This is not the Islamic Republic but the very nature of Iran. In my opinion this is not an accident but planned. One day we hear "A*** Gulf"; then guy pops his head up. I don't know just exactly what but something stinks really bad. It appears to have some in Obama administration involved in it. What do people think?

Now to the nonsense this guy spews out.

On one hand this guy says that there is discrimination against Azari. But then Khamenei is an Azari. So if there is discrimination it is done with the approval of Khamenei who is an Azari NOT a Fars! Therefore as others pointed out it is not the fault of "Fars" or "Aryans" whomever they may be.

Then he says: "half the Azerbaijani populations migrate to nonazerbaijani provinces like Tehran and Karaj". I say: it is called freedom of movement. A sign that they are free to move wherever they want. People follow jobs. In Iran most jobs are around Tehran. Or Karaj which is practically next door. So of course people want to move there for jobs. And guess what: they are welcome. It is only discrimination if they are PREVENTED which they are NOT. So they go and get jobs!

Now if we did have Mr Savalan's of "separation" then they would not be able to go! They may need passports to go to Tehran. In fact most of them could not even go there. That would not exactly improve their situation.

Anyway: others have already pointed out that joblessness is a general problem. The province of Azarbayejan is not singled out. The capital has historically had more jobs. That is normal and does not imply discrimination.



An alternative school of thought would argue that...

by Roozbeh_Gilani on

A tabrizi factory worker would have a lot more in common culturaly and economically with a Tehrani or Turkish istanbuli factory worker  than he'd ever have with a Tabrizi, let alone Tehrani or istanbuli bazar merchant.  The same school of thought would firmly condemn some of the petty, yet disgraceful  chauvinistic sentiments expressed here as divisive and ultimately beneficial to the fascist islamist dictator who manages to cling to his islamist throne largely by means of creating ethnic and religious division amongst not only the people of Iran, but the entire middle east population. 

"Personal business must yield to collective interest."

Darius Kadivar

FYI/pictory: Soviet Propaganda Film - Iran, Tabriz 1945-46

by Darius Kadivar on

Hoshang Targol

Gibberish has its limts

by Hoshang Targol on

You consistently, and singularly fail to understand the socio-historic dynamics of Azary-Iranian relationship. The instances of economic under development which you mention could also be cited for almost everyother single part of the country ( unfortuantelly) and Azarbijan is not the worst by far. As far as Azarbijan being "seperated" from Iran, it would be akin to moving Mt. Damavand: it has always been a part of Iranian landscape, since times immemorial, very tall and proud, that never moves.


Discrimination of Azerbaijanis in Iran

by Savalan on

According to state ministry of Iran, half the Azerbaijani populations migrate to nonazerbaijani provinces like Tehran and Karaj. Official statistics confirms that Azerbaijani provinces always have had highest level in unemployment and migration among provinces of Iran. This huge size of migration from fertile geopolitical region to central regions was resulted by scorched earth policy in 85 years. Ali Akbar Velayati, ex- foreign Minister, have famous statement about economical investment in Azerbaijani areas that clearly shows Tehran's attitude about future of Iranian Azerbaijan and its problems. According to ex-governor of Zanjan, in session with governors of north western provinces, Velayati had stated that Tehran shouldn’t investigate in Azerbaijani provinces because those areas sooner or later will be separated.


full of it

by MRX1 on

This guy is full of contradiction. At one end he claims that Turkic group ruled Iran for thousands of years, at the other end  he talks about racism and discrimination. So if all that is true, then is he saying that Turkic groups were discriminating against fellow Turkic group!!!! Then what is his beef with Persian speaking group then? Also why did these Turkic group who ruled Iran for thousand years didn’t  do anything to promote Azarbaijani language and culture?  was it because of discrimination, I thought they were the rulers!!!! This is like saying IRI is discrminating against omati shia ideology@ 

Afshin Ehx

Savalan & Tabriz_Balasi

by Afshin Ehx on

Savalan---Thank you for posting the video links. They are great. I have already looked at a couple of them. Unfortunately, one major flaw that most of us Iranians suffer from is kod-bozorg- beeni, to the point that we have lost the sight of reality. I attribute part of the problem to the disease of Aryanism/Persianism that Pahlavis spread. (By Aryanism/Persianism, I mean the belief that Iranians and Iranian culture are superior. Persianism is the southern California version of Aryanism, where Aryanists nowadays call themselves Persians.)

Tabriz_Balasi---I enjoyed reading most of what you wrote, except the following:

1.      Speaking from my own experience, I do agree with you that the overwhelming majority of Farsi people are not racist. However, this does not mean that they do not feel a sense of superiority over Azeris.

2.      I find Farsi jokes in which Azeris are humored as jackasses quite demeaning. Throughout my adult life, I have crashed a few parties and broken up friendships over these jokes.

3.      Based on your experience, you claim that there is no racism against Azeris in Iran. I want to suggest that you use the term “Fars national chauvinism” instead of racism. The facts that you were not allowed to learn to read or write in Azeri, get your education in Azeri, and learn the history of Azerbaijan, or the fact that your grand parents (or your neighbors’ family) could not watch TV or listen to radio because they did not understood Farsi are all proofs that, as a nation, Azeris have suffered discrimination—they still do. Whether or not you have experienced this discrimination in your personal life is irrelevant. The truth is that majority of Azeris do feel discriminated, and have grievances, even though they do not want to separate from Iran.

4.      Lastly, I don't know what you mean by "we can act odd at times". To me, it sounds like some sort of stereotyping of Azeris that can only appease and amuse your Fars friends.

Yaashaasin Azerbaijan!




to savalan

by tabriz_balasi on

you said:

"His (reza shah)
first intention was to highlight the Persian language and culture in
comparison with minority peoples and languages such as Turks, Arabs,
baloches and Kurds."

persian language doesn't need any highlighting, it has produced one of the richest literatures in the world.  Azarbaijan has produced very important people but Azaribaijan only has meaning with respect to the great iranian/persian culture.  for example, shahriar was a great azari poet but 90 percent of his poetry is in persian because he learned his style from Hafez.  if you are angry or mad, search the reason else where. 

be an act at all times in the name of Allah.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


What is this obsession you have with the Aryan race? If you read IC you are about the only one who keeps bringing up "Aryan". Other than discssions you bring up I hardly ever see the word. Therefore I conclude that you are obsessed with race. In addition you know little about race and the history of different Iranian groups.

I have news for you dude: We Iranians don't care about each others race. We care about our nation. Now take your racist and separatist mind somewhere with like minded people. 

We got bigger things to deal with than obsessing some Soviet badly made up propaganda. 

Ever wondered why all this crap comes out of ex-Soviet "republics"? From the sick minds of their brainwashed leaders and even more brainwashed followers! One more thing Reza Shah died long ago if you did not know. The current "ruler" of Iran is an "Azeri".


بررسی تاریخ گذشته ایران - دروغ یا واقعیت؟


جعل کتیبه کوروش هخامنشی،به خیالٍ یک اقدام وطنپرستانه


جایگزینی تفکرعلمی و منطق با احساسات و تعصب


تاریخ سازی ومسابقه قدمت تاریخی


پذیرشسناریوهای تخیلی بعنوان حقایق تاریخی


تفاوت بین"سرزمین"ایران و"قوم" ایرانی 



رادیو بینالمللی فرانسه: این نژاد آریائی، تعریفش چیست؟


دروغ و تظاهر،زیانبارترین عامل عقب افتادگی


سوءاستفاده ازعلاقه ایرانی ها به تاریخ باستان


از ایرانباستان چه آثار علمی مکتوبی بجای مانده؟

 //  -Part 1

//  -Part 2


History of language ban`s in Iran...

by Savalan on

In 1921, Reza Khan took over the government in Iran and ,consolidating all power in his hands, became Shah of Iran in 1925. He announced that Iran was an independent country with an ancient history and its people those of the Aryan race. The aim of this huge political propaganda campaign was two-fold. His first intention was to highlight the Persian language and culture in comparison with minority peoples and languages such as Turks, Arabs, baloches and Kurds. One of the politically well-orchestrated steps that he undertook at this juncture was to forbid the use of minority languages in schools, government departments and diplomatic circles. Azeri Turks, who formed about 40 percent of the population, came under a great pressure. They were forced to learn Persian language instead of their mother tongue. 

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

NY University

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


Ms. Bredna Shaffer

Is a person with an agenda. To break up all rivals to Israel.

I started to doubt York University's quality and integrity when I learned Mr. Asgharzadeh could work there.  

I am all for this idiot working there in a proper position. For example as "dar bon". However as a lecturer no way. Except for on the topic of dar booni.I am open to him advancing to janitor if he works really hard and on the weekends.


Know them by their companions!

by siavash_2003 on


Mr. Asgharzadeh has extensively quoted Mr. Naser Pourpirar (someone with not even a high-school diploma) and Ms. Bredna Shaffer (apparently a graudate student) in his so-called 'book' about Iran, the province of Azarbaijan, Arran and all.

His 'book' is very low-quality and a collection of lies and falsifications, Soviet-generated and leftist-promoted nonsense.

I started to doubt York University's quality and integrity when I learned Mr. Asgharzadeh could work there. it seems that they have no clue about Iran and its history and geography and have no expert to have a look at the references and citations that people make about Iran. they do not perform any quality checking and validation of the publications that are presented to them.

Now, some pan-turks are trumpeting this illiterate and incompetent person as 'professor' left and right, while he has not done his job as well as a good undergraduate student can do in writing a paper, that is, using reliable and quality references.

Mr. Asgharzadeh speaks with a combined hatred and ignorance towards Iran and its history. he, like his friend and source Mr Pourpirar, considers Iran's history a fabircation of Jews and Jewish scholars!

Like other readers, I like to invite Mr. Asgharzadeh to study reliable sources on the history of Iran. I also encourage him to study also talks about the racism in the territories of Baku government, like how they treat non-Turkic speakers such as Kurds, Tats, Talysh, Lezgis and other minorities and compare his results with how Turkic is treated in Iran. turkic speakers Iranians are like other Iranians and they have fought for their country. you can hear Turkic freely spoken on every streets and in bazzars and schools like other languages and dialects in Iran. not the same in Arran. 




by AryamehrNYC on

It seems this guy is a revisionist type by nature.  I guess he conveniently left out the fact that the Medes are in fact Kurds.  Azeri's are Iranian as are Kurds, Qashqai's, etc.  Someone needs to tell this clown to lay off the pipe.