In the early 1980s, the Regime’s forces began to crack down on all forces that were opposed to the Regime, which was mainly those who had revolted against the Shah and included a lot of ethnic minorities. This began in Iran, but soon spread to dissidents across the world; even assassinating Iranian political activists in Europe.
There are six main ethnic groups in Iran; Persians, Turks, Kurds, Arabs, Baloch, and Turkmens, each with its own language, culture, customs and traditions. However, there are no official statistics about the number of non-Persian people.
Why? Because the Iranian Regime considers national affiliations threatening to the unity of their state and has adopted so-called security measures to counter national activities and obliterate ethnic minorities by changing the changing the demographic fabric of their regions.
Many non-Persian community groups have taken on political aspirations and are determined to restore their national rights, but the Regime has refused to communicate with the leaders or even meet the basic demands of non-Persian peoples. Some of the Regime’s governments have promised to look into these complaints at a later date, but this has never come to pass.
This has led to a growing nationalist movement, particularly in Azerbaijan, where the National Government of Azerbaijan was formed to take control of large parts of the region, and Kurdistan, where Kurdistan Democratic Party advocates for autonomous rule. The Iranian Revolutionary Guards forces moved into Kurdistan in the early 1980s and clashed with armed rebels, which left over 10,000 people dead by 1983.
Iran regime’s President Hassan Rouhani even appointed former intelligence minister Ali Younesi as the assistant in the affairs of nationalities and minorities, but he’s not interested in addressing the discrimination against ethnic minorities. After all, the Intelligence Ministry has long been at the root of discrimination against these communities, including executions, imprisonment, exile and assassinations.
A change is coming
There is no chance that the Iranian Regime will change their malign policies towards ethnic minorities after four decades of abuse, but there is hope. The Iranian Resistance, led by Maryam Rajavi, is fighting for a free and democratic Iran, with a commitment to human rights. This includes the rights of ethnic minorities.
In Rajavi’s ten-point-plan for a free Iran, she wrote: “We want a pluralist system, freedom of parties and assembly. We respect all individual freedoms… We are committed to the equality of all nationalities. We underscore the plan for the autonomy of Iranian Kurdistan, adopted by the National Council of Resistance of Iran. The language and culture of our compatriots from whatever nationality, are among our nation’s human resources and must spread and be promulgated in tomorrow’s Iran.”