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Ahwazis at London's Anti-War Demonstration

Around 20 Ahwazi Arabs attended Saturday's anti-war march in London, calling for solidarity with those campaigning for revolutionary change in Iran while opposing foreign imposition of regime change.

Ahwazi activists handed out more than 1,500 leaflets informing protestors that Ahwazis needed solidarity not war. The leaflet also highlighted the Iranian regime's ethnic cleansing of Ahwazi Arabs and backs their right for self-determination and human rights.

One activist said: "Many people had not heard of the Ahwazis, so we were able to inform them. We found many new friends and we hope we will have even more in the future."

Following the demonstration, a group of Ahwazis attended the launch of Hands Off the People of Iran (HOPI), a campaign group that opposes both military action on Iran and the Iranian regime. Speakers at the meeting - including Ben Lewis of Communist Students, Mark Fischer of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB), Peter Tatchell of the Green Party and Torab Saleth of the Workers Left Unity Iran party - called for solidarity with students, workers, women and oppressed ethnic groups opposed to the regime.

BAFS spokesman Nasser Bani Assad said: "We want to send out a clear message that opposition to war should not be interpreted as support for the chauvinist regime in Tehran.

"Most anti-war activists agree that the Tehran regime is oppressive and undemocratic, but they say it is up to the people to decide its replacement not foreign governments. Many fear that a military attack on Iran would give the Iranian establishment more excuses to repress minority rights activists, trade unionists, feminists and students.

"Senior members of the British anti-war movement have backed the Ahwazis' rights and have called for an end to Iran's anti-Arab execution campaign in Ahwaz. We hope that by publicising the oppression of Ahwazi Arabs at this demonstration, more progressive-minded people will support the Ahwazi movement."