Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Trivia to me - vital ethnic identity to some Iranian Arabs

The primary source of this story comes from Al Arabiya

The protests in Iran are taking place in the province of Khuzestan, located in the southwest part of the country adjoining the Persian Gulf. The province is the heart of Iran's oil wealth. A problem is that Khuzestan is also home to most of Iran's Arab minority (about 2% of the country's population). Ahwaz is a region in Khuzestan.

We haven't heard much about this region because it's been repeatedly suppressed by Iranian regimes (pre- and post-revolutionary). It is a reminder that political cleavages often persist even after major political changes.

Security forces suppress Iran’s Ahwaz protests as they reach fourth day
Iranian security forces, backed by units of anti-riot police and the Revolutionary Guard, suppressed night demonstrations on the fourth day of protests by Arab citizens in the center of the city on Saturday…

Videos and images shared on social media and local Ahwaz TV channels showed protesters holding up signs in Arabic, English and Ahwazi calling on the UN to stop the discrimination against Arabs by Iranian authorities…

According to the Ahwaz Human Rights Organization, protesters called for the release of political prisoners and an end to demographic changes that are in favor of migrants, not Arabs.

Other demands included an end to the marginalization of the Arab Ahwaz, efforts to combat poverty, unemployment and pollution.

See also: The Phantom Emirate of Ahwaz.

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