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Relative Of Hanged Ahwazis Calls for International Prosecution Of Judges

A relative of two executed Ahwazi Arabs is calling on the international community to issue a warrant for the arrest of two Iranian judge...

Iran and Syria flout refugee conventions again: Ahwazi Arabs illegally deported

Iran and Syria flout refugee conventions again: Ahwazi Arabs illegally deported

The Geneva Conventions and the UNHCR have been once again mocked by the regimes in Syria and Damascus as two more Ahwazi Arab refugees are illegally repatriated from Damascus to Tehran.

Hossein Yaber Niesi (29) and Jasem Nabhan Niesi (37) were arrested by the Syrian authorities in April following an extradition request by Iran and deported yesterday, according to reports received by the British Ahwazi Friendship Society from the Danish Ahwazi Friendship Society and Ahwazi Arab opposition groups.

They are being held by Iran's Ministry of Intelligence but have been denied visits by family members or lawyers. There are reliable reports that the two men are being tortured.

The two men are meant to be under UNHCR protection, but are just the latest in a large number of Ahwazi refugees repatriated by Syria. The UNHCR office in Damascus has repeatedly failed to take adequate action, despite a change of leadership. The office itself is known to be infiltrated by the Syrian security services and the Lebanese Hezbollah, a situation the UNHCR headquarters in Geneva have been unable or unwilling to address. The Lebanese Hezbollah, acting on behalf of Iran, has also performed its own arrests and illegal deportations of Ahwazi Arabs in Beirut and earlier this year they kidnapped a sick child and her family from a hospital in a Sunni area of the city.

In view of the UNHCR's failure to protect refugees and the poor security situation facing Ahwazis in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Turkey, the British Ahwazi Friendship Society (BAFS) and its associates defend the right of all Ahwazi Arab asylum seekers to seek sanctuary in Europe.


Ayatollah Khamenei's Uncle Napoleonism

Ayatollah Khamenei's Uncle Napoleonism

By Nasser Bani Assad, British Ahwazi Friendship Society

The Iranian government has expelled two British diplomats after it accused the British government and the BBC of stirring up opposition rioting and ethnic unrest.

In recent days, Ayatollah Khamenei has used the 1953 British-American-backed coup against the government of Mohammad Mosaddeq to arouse anti-British sentiment and suggest that those opposing his puppet president Ahmadinejad are part of a London-based conspiracy to destroy Iran itself.

For many outside Iran, the claims appear deranged. But this is the paranoid psychology, amusingly described in Iraj Pezeshkzad's novel "My Uncle Napoleon", that has been sustained in Iran long after the demise of the British Empire. The only section of Iranian society that has ever had a problem with Pezeshkzad's "My Uncle Napoleon" is the religious establishment. After seizing power, the mullahs banned the book, ironically claiming it was the work of British intelligence intended to destroy Shi'ism and the Iranian nation. They failed to get the joke. This immature reaction is rooted in a deep lack of self-confidence.

In his attempt to appeal to the suspicious minds of the Iranian public, Khamenei is using the last resort of the despot: blame all Iran's internal problems on the British. While the British Empire did historically intervene in Persia/Iran as it did in most parts of the world, its current influence over events in Iran is, at best, about as strong as its influence in former colonies such as India, Kenya or South Africa. That is, it has little influence beyond the normal cultural, diplomatic and economic intercourse between two different countries/

The Iranian regime blames BBC Persian service for its ills. As a global media corporation, the BBC broadcasts in many languages across the world providing objective commentary on a range of countries. Yet, only Iran says that the BBC is seeking regime-change by broadcasting videos of brutality by its security services. It is as if the British are wielding the batons themselves or using some form of mind control over the Bassij fanatics to shoot dead Neda Soltani and the countless, nameless others murdered by this cruel government.

Unsurprisingly, the Iranian regime has not voiced anything about the useless and amateurish yet expensive American anti-regime propaganda exercises, VOA Persian and Radio Farda. Perhaps this is because they are afraid that the BBC is regarded by Iranians as trustworthy and without a party line to pursue, while the US efforts are run by a small band of ageing and embittered exiles who barely have a grasp on reality. The regime fears truth more than it fears any ideology.

It is a sign of extreme political backwardness that a regime has to invent conspiracies involving "Satanic" foreign governments in order to protest itself from the truth. Moreover, it demonstrates how little faith the regime has in its own people that it believes they will behave like sheep by betraying their country and obeying the dictates of foreign governments.

The youth of Iran, a country where 70 per cent of the population is under 30, have no interest in these fantasies about British imperialism and are disinterested in what happened more than half a century ago. They want decent jobs and education, they want equitable economic development, they want to express their opinions, they want freedom to enjoy themselves without religious sanctions and, for minorities, they want freedom of worship, freedom to learn and speak in their mother tongue and the devolution of power from the centre. The youth of Iran want to look forward, not backward.

Khamenei's conspiracy theories could very well backfire. It evident to Iranian youth that the hidden hand of British imperialism is not behind everything that goes on, nor do they feel brainwashed by dark forces emanating from London. The portrayal of the British as the regime's greatest enemy could very well embolden them and many now see the British as their best friend.

The mullahs know that without invented conspiracies and extreme state terror, their rule would crumble. Now the conspiracies and terror are no longer working and the truth is chipping away at the regime's feet of clay. It is not a matter of 'if' but 'when' the edifice of the Islamic Republic will topple and a new generation gets power.

The role of the international community should be simple: let the people tell their truth and let them be heard.
Hossein Kaabi kicked out of Iran football team due to election protest

Hossein Kaabi kicked out of Iran football team due to election protest

Ahwazi Arab Hossein Ka'abi was one of four footballers expelled from the Iranian national side today after staging an on-pitch protest against the presidential election results during a match last week against South Korea.

Ahwaz-born Ka'abi, who has played for English League One team Leicester City FC, joined Ali Karimi, Mehdi Mahdavikia and Vahid Hashemian in wearing green armbands in support of Mir-Hossein Mousavi, an opponent of President Ahmadinejad. Two other players also wore green armbands but have not been dismissed.

During the match held in Seoul, supporters of the Iranian team showed their support for the demonstrations in Iran by staging a protest outside the stadium. They unfurled a banner that read "Go To Hell Dictator," and chanted "Compatriots, we will be with you to the end with the same heart." During the match, protesters waved the banner, held up green paper signs reading "Where is my vote?" and waved Iran's national flags emblazed with the plea "Free Iran."

Ka'abi is one of Iran's most talented footballers, known for his aggressive style which has helped the Iranian side win at an international level. His passport has now been confiscated. There are concerns that he and the other footballers who participated in the protest will be imprisoned.

Ka'abi is believed to be a descendent of Sheikh Khaza'al, the powerful Arab sheikh of Mohammareh who ruled much of what is now the province of Khuzestan. Khaza'al was deposed by Reza Khan in 1925.

Iran: The Uprising in Ahwaz

Iran: The Uprising in Ahwaz

The following YouTube videos trace the unrest in Ahwaz, an Arab majority city in Iran's oil-rich Khuzestan province. Mehdi Karroubi had topped the poll in the province in 2005, with Ahmadinejad in a distant third place. This year, Ahmadinejad came first with an overwhelming majority - a result that the electorate regards as impossible.

9/10 June: Anti-Ahmadinejad supporters come out onto the streets of Ahwaz City in large numbers ahead of the presidential election



13 June: Riot police and Bassij attack pro-Mousavi demonstrators in Ahwaz City streets



From 13 June: Demonstrations and riots break out in Ahwaz after election result is announced








Iran: YouTube and Twitter do not show hidden brutality

Iran: YouTube and Twitter do not show hidden brutality

YouTube and Twitter have provided extensive media coverage of anti-government demonstrations in Iran, but the British Ahwazi Friendship Society (BAFS) warns that the worst state terrorism will be conducted where these new technologies cannot reach.

Thousands of men and women are being arrested, including severely injured activists, and held in Evin Prison where conditions are notoriously harsh. At this moment many will be underdoing interrogation through torture, which in Iran includes mock executions, starvation, anal rape using truncheons, repeated stamping on genitals and severe and prolonged sensory deprivation.

The experiences BAFS has recorded in relation to Ahwazi Arab political prisoners are common to all political prisoners held by the Iranian government, regardless of whether the president at the time was Rafsanjani, Khatami or Ahmadinejad. In recent years, BAFS has also gathered evidence of summary executions, with bodies of 'disappeared' people found washed up in rivers covered in marks of torture or dumped on the doorsteps of relatives' homes. The world media and the international community have frequently ignored this violent feature of the Iranian regime.

Victims of torture are often promised an end to their suffering through confessing to crimes they did not commit, including collusion with foreign intelligence agencies. But their 'confessions' are subsequently used to convict them in closed summary trials by a Revolutionary Court, after which many are executed using a cruel form of hanging which ensures a prolonged death through strangulation.

BAFS has collected medical evidence from dozens of Ahwazi Arab refugees in the UK who have been subjected to abuse in Iran's prisons. Some of these victims of torture will suffer a life of chronic pain, physical disfigurement and disability and mental illness, but often they are too embarrassed to seek help and many are not given appropriate treatment by the National Health Service. Yet, they are the lucky ones - they have escaped, while thousands of political prisoners will remain behind bars for years on end.

BAFS spokesman Nasser Bani Assad said: "We are worried that the reliance on YouTube and Twitter will encourage lazy reporting in the Western media. If the evil is not seen, there is an assumption it is not happening. The gruesome videos and descriptions we have seen on these websites are nothing compared to what is really going on in Iran, where camera phones and laptops do not exist, such as the torture chambers of Prison 209 and Prison 59. There is a limit to what journalism can reveal. BAFS demands international intervention to bring an end to torture and state terrorism in Iran."
Announcement: Congress of Nationalities for a Federal Iran

Announcement: Congress of Nationalities for a Federal Iran

CNFI-Logo.pngYou have come to the streets for your rights with regard to: civil rights, democracy, the equality before the law, right to elect and be elected without discrimination in a free of cheating election, and the right to have access to modern and free mass media.

People of Iran

The Iranian Islamic regime shows no respect for the real outcome of the elections that took place under its own non-democratic frame works and discriminatory procedures on 12 June 2009. The regime carried out a political coup instead, in order to maintain the Supreme Leader's favoured candidate, Mr Ahmadinejad, in power.

You the people of Iran, have repeatedly had nationally and regionally revolutions in the past century to achieve your civil and democratic rights, but each victory again and again became confiscated and robbed by the coup makers to stabilize their dictatorship and autocracy.
Again another coup took place, under the guidance and support of Iranian religious Supreme Leader "Walye faqih Ali Khamenei" by his led Revolutionary Guards and Basijis to keep Ahmadinejad his favourite president in power.

In reply to this coup you the people of Iran have risked your life and gone out on the streets, displayed through a major historical mass demonstration in millions, and showing your discourse and anger to the rulers of Iran and the world. You have come out to defeat the dictators and to achieve all the civil rights that you have been deprived of during the recent century.
You have come to the streets for your rights with regard to: civil rights, democracy, the equality before the law, right to elect and be elected without discrimination in a free of cheating election, and the right to have access to modern and free mass media.

The problem is not just Ahmadinejad and Khamenei. The problem lies in the Iranian political system's nature with its structure based on an absolute dictatorship in the form of "welayete faqih". This problem has no stable solution but dealing with its roots' factors in a radical way. The roots lie in the current Iranian Constitution and the relationship between the government and citizens of Iran that are shaped and channelled in a dictatorial and widespread discriminative way. The effective continuity and sustainability of the current fight and mass protest will ensure the achievement of our democratic and civil rights.

We the political parties and organizations in the "Congress of Nationalities for a Federal Iran - CNFI" condemn the cheating and brutalities of the Islamic Regime of Iran against its own people and support people's fight for their democratic, just and fair demands of abolishing the fraudulent 10th presidency election.

The people of Iran who are composed of several nationalities with diverse cultural, religious and social origins are in need of a united fight more than ever during the current sensitive campaign.

Once again we support your struggle throughout Iran, and condemn the regime's cruel actions by the brutal massacre that took place during the peaceful mass demonstration on last Monday. We extend our friendship and solidarity hands to all Iranian democratic forces for cooperation and a united campaign against the dictatorship for a decentralized democratic and a plural political system in Iran.

Questions of Nationality and Democracy in Iran

Questions of Nationality and Democracy in Iran

Conference of the Society for Threatened Peoples and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation

The present situation of the non-Persian ethnic groups and non-Shiite religious communities in Iran and their perspectives for the future after the presidential election are the subject of a conference of the Society for Threatened Peoples (GfbV) and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation on 20th June 2009 in Frankfurt am Main. The ethnic group of the Azeri, Kurds, Arabs, Baluchi, Turkmens and the religious minorities of the Bah'ai or Christian Assyrians and other smaller peoples and religious communities have been suffering for years from suppression.

Violent attacks, arbitrary arrests, harassment and discrimination mark the everyday life of these people. Especially politically or socially active members of this ethnic group are constantly faced with being picked on arbitrarily by the Iranian security forces. They are abducted, tortured and murdered. Shortly before the presidential election the number of executions rose sharply. In May 2009 alone 52 death sentences were carried out.

With their conference "Questions of Nationality and Democracy in Iran" this Saturday in Frankfurt am Main the GfbV and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation want to give representatives of the discriminated ethnic groups the opportunity to present their position. At the same time approaches for a peaceful future for all in Iran will be discussed. In the forefront the question will be: How can the persecution of the suppressed communities be ended? An expert on the right of women and two experts who will speak on the subject of federalism in Iran have also been invited to the conference.
Iran: Situation in Ahwaz 'worse than Tehran'

Iran: Situation in Ahwaz 'worse than Tehran'

Ahwaz City is in turmoil with 'many, many dead' at the hands of police and the Bassij, supported by the Lebanese Hezbollah, according to numerous independent eye-witness accounts received by the British Ahwazi Friendship Society (BAFS).

Security forces have imposed martial law on the city and have targetted the district of Hay Al-Thawra, which has been a hotbed of ethnic Arab unrest against the regime in recent years. Residents claim that they are living under curfew unable to leave their homes while security forces are opening fire with live rounds on any gathering. Ethnic Arab residents claim that foreign Arabs with Lebanese accents, probably from the Lebanese Hezbollah, are being organised into death squads co-ordinated by the paramilitary Bassij and official vigilante groups. Lebanon's Hezbollah uses Qods Force bases in the province as training grounds.

President Ahmadinejad was given a clear lead in Khuzestan province, according to the controversial official election results. The results were a surprise as most expected a strong vote for Mehdi Karroubi among the local Arab population. He had topped the poll in the province in 2005 with his message of ethnic rights winning support among the Ahwazi Arabs, who are subjected to discrimination and high levels of deprivation.

"The lack of foreign media in Ahwaz means that the Iranian regime believes it is acting with impunity," said BAFS spokesman Nasser Bani Assad. "Ahwaz and Isfahan are the two cities outside Tehran that are seeing the largest popular uprisings and the most brutal response by the state terror machine, but lines of communication with these cities are very limited. The number of deaths is unknown, but reports suggest they are in double figures. Hundreds have been arrested. Even when the unrest has died down, we expect the arrests to continue.

"In the past, any unrest in Ahwaz is always followed by a wave of summary and judicial executions. Sometimes bodies of those who have 'disappeared' have been found in the river Karoun with marks of severe torture.

"This is likely to happen again unless the United Nations takes action immediately and, at the very least, sends human rights observers to Ahwaz. We call on the world's democracies to take action to ensure that human rights are protected throughout Iran and not to focus just on Tehran. We call for full sanctions on all foreign groups and their political affiliates who are suspected of involvement in state terror in Iran."
Iran-Balochistan: Three Prominent Student Leaders Arrested

Iran-Balochistan: Three Prominent Student Leaders Arrested

Report by the Balochistan Peoples Front

Three prominent student leaders in Baluchistan have been arrested after widespread demonstrations protesting against unprecedented widespread fraud in elections. Shahryar Hosseinbor, Ahmad Rigi and Saeed Arbabzahi were taken to unidentified prisons and their family's search for finding them has not returned a positive result. These students were involved in civil and legal activities.

They were part of a group that organised and supervised the election process. The arrested students witnessed the counting of the votes but Ahmadinejad who has won the least votes in Baluchistan was declared the winner of the elections. This was something very surprising for those who supervised elections and the process of counting the votes.

The record shows that the Islamic Republic of Iran uses ruthless techniques and torture to punish the opponents in Baluchistan. Those who have been arrested claimed that their feet were drilled, their bodies were burnt, their finger nails were pulled and their genitals were damaged. A large number of them have been executed or hanged in public.

The Baluch people are Sunnis and they are considered by the Iranian security forces as infidels who deserve to have maximum physical and mental torture before being hanged. Roxana Saberi, the American journalist that was detained a few months ago and released later [2009], claimed that she was persuaded to confess to suggested allegations to secure her later release from prison.

It is likely that these students would face the same fate if the international community and human rights organizations do not take adequate actions NOW to force the Islamic Republic of Iran to release them as soon as possible.
Assessing the ethnic vote in Iran's elections

Assessing the ethnic vote in Iran's elections

Iran's presidential elections have revealed the true extent of the ethnic dimension of Iranian politics, which could prove to be the country's most revolutionary force.

Ethnic issues were at the fore of campaigning in ethnic minority-dominated provinces. In a recent article for the National Democratic Institute, Kaveh-Cyrus Sanandaji of the Middle East Centre at St. Antony's College, University of Oxford, wrote:
The resurgence in minority grievances has recently brought ethnic politics to the fore with an unprecedented sense of urgency, and the regime has taken steps to assuage perceptions of disenfranchisement or repression shared by ethnic minorities ...
The discourse on ethnic politics has also drastically expanded during the 2009 presidential campaigns. Mousavi in particular has been campaigning in the minority-dominated provinces of Azerbaijan, Khuzestan, Kermanshah, Mazandaran and Golestan, among others. Beyond the standard assurances of greater minority incorporation in government and promises to respect minority rights, which are echoed by Karroubi and Rezai, Mousavi has proposed unprecedented, detailed policies to address minority grievances.
Voting trends reveal that despite efforts to campaign for the ethnic minority vote, increasing numbers of non-Persians are rejecting the political system and abstaining. The official results show that six provinces where the presidential election turn-out was below 80% are dominated by Kurds, Arabs, Azeris and Balochis, indicating a growing ethnic-based resistance to the political system. Outside these provinces, turnout averaged 90% and ranged between 80-100%.

The far lower rates of turnout in provinces where non-Persian ethnic groups are concentrated indicate a higher rate of 'rejectionist' sentiment that can be attributed to secessionist, autonomist or federalist sentiment. There is no motivating factor other than ethnicity that can account for the sharp divergence in abstention rates between ethnic Persians and non-Persians. The lower rates of turnout are therefore a sign of significant progress for the banned ethnic federalist and secessionist movements that called for an election boycott.

Ethnicity-related rejectionism can be roughly deduced by measuring the difference between the turnout in predominantly Persian and non-Persian provinces. This difference was around 27% in Kurdistan, 21% in West Azerbaijan, 19% in Khuzestan, 16% in Sistan va Balochistan and 11% each in Ardabil and Kermanshah. The Kurdish population, which covers Kermanshah and significant parts of West Azerbaijan as well as Kurdistan province, appears to be the most inclined towards separatism while the Azeris, which are concentrated in West and East Azerbaijan and Ardabil, appear to be the least separatist. The Arab population, which makes up a majority in Khuzestan, and the Balochis also have higher rates of rejection of the political system than seen in Persian areas of the country. In the Golestan and North Khorasan provinces, where the one-million strong Turkmen population is concentrated, the abstention rate is a third higher than the national average at around 20%.

Further adjustment to exclude Persian minorities in these six non-Persian provinces suggests that up to one in three Kurds, one in four Arabs and Balochis and one in nine Azeris - totalling at least three to four million Iranian citizens, or 20-28% of the non-Persian electorate - could be in favour of a political revolution where ethnic groups are given more autonomy or outright independence. This is likely to be a conservative estimate, since these figures are based on flawed election results which may have exagerrated turnout in these provinces in order to hand President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad his re-election victory.

Moreover, many non-Persians who voted for the 'reformist' candidates Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi had regarded them as the least worst option, having been encouraged by their appeals for greater attention to ethnic rights. This could have accounted for Mousavi's considerable vote among Azeris, who comprise at least a quarter of Iran's population and are generally loyal to any Azeri candidate. The Bakhtiari and Lori votes in the provinces of Chahar Mahal and Bakhtiari and Lorestan may also have been encouraged by Rezaee and Karroubi, who are from these ethnic groups. Turnouts in these provinces were above the national average, although the vote for these candidates was suspiciously poor even in their home towns.

Given a genuine choice in free and fair elections, it is likely that non-Persian groups would opt for greater powers over their regional affairs. When the ethnic rejectionist vote is combined with the official votes for the 'reformist' candidates, two-thirds of the non-Persian electorate rejected Ahmadinejad. After factoring in the fake votes for Ahmadinejad and the likely uncounted votes for his opponents, the desire for change among non-Persians is overwhelming - potentially at least 80% - and far stronger than among Iran's dominant Persian ethnic group.

The level of mobilisation around ethnicity is as strong as class identity and is an important dimension in the debate on Iran's political future. Yet, the future of Iran could be determined by this political under-current that is sidelined by the self-appointed 'Iran experts' in the West as well as Iran's own repressed intelligensia and highly censored media.
Iran: Arab militants pledge to renew fight against regime

Iran: Arab militants pledge to renew fight against regime


Iran's Revolutionary Guards have been under attack from armed members of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Al-Ahwaz (ASMLA), according to a statement by the separatist group.

Anti-government demonstrations have erupted in and around Ahwaz following the fradulent re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In the turmoil, Arab militants have fired on the security services. A number of armed separatist groups have operated in Arab areas which they claim are under Iranian occupation. Some of the groups have been short-lived, but ASMLA has previously claimed responsibility for major bomb attacks in Ahwaz City, including a June 2005 car bomb attack on the offices of the provincial government.

The Iranian regime has previously accused the US, the UK and Israel of supporting Ahwazi Arab separatist groups, but has failed to provide any proof to back up its assertions.
Iran: Attacks on Revolutionary Guards in Ahwaz as Arabs reject election results

Iran: Attacks on Revolutionary Guards in Ahwaz as Arabs reject election results

Reports from two separate sources has confirmed that Arab militants have attacked members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards in the Kampolo and Chaharshir districts of Ahwaz City, inflicting 'losses' - it is unclear what those losses are.

The attacks come after the announcement of fradulent presidential election results, which gave President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a landslide win. The chair of the electoral commission in Khuzestan province, which is home to most of Iran's indigenous Arab population, gave Ahmadinejad a 64% share of the vote with Mir-Hossein Mousavi on 27%, Mohsen Rezaee 7% and Mehdi Karroubi less than 1%. He added that in the Arab city of Khoramshahr (Mohammara), which lies on the Shatt al-Arab near Iraq, Ahmadinejad's support rose to 78% with Mousavi on 18%, Rezaee 2% and Karroubi less than 1%.

Sources in Ahwaz have said that outside the security services, Ahmadinejad is deeply unpopular and his support within the civilian population has diminished. The results are even more miraculous given that the dominant Arab population has displayed some of the greatest defiance against the regime, particularly in Khorramshahr/Mohammara where ethnic unrest has been accompanied by frequent industrial action over non-payment of wages in key industries. Khuzestan has never been considered a base of support for Ahmadinejad. In 2005, he officially came third with 14.4% of the vote, well behind Karroubi on 34.5% and Hashemi Rafsanjani on 20.5%. Karroubi's share of the vote in Khuzestan was twice the national average.

An ethnic Lor from neighbouring Lorestan, Karroubi had made ethnic rights a key plank of his bid for the presidency. This won him support from many Arab figures, including former Majlis member Jasem Shadidzadeh al-Tamimi who was his campaign manager in the province. Ethnic Lors are also indigenous to northern areas of Khuzestan and it is believed he had overwhelming support among them. Yet, in Karroubi's hometown of Aligordaz in Loristan, Ahmadinejad received 39,690 votes, Karoubi 14,512 and Mousavi 9,330 votes.

Meanwhile, Khuzestan is home to Mohsen Rezaee, who belongs to the Bakhtiari ethnic group that is concentrated in the east of the province. Although he is not believed to be widely popular, yet in the village of Lali where Rezaee is from, Ahmadinejad won 830 out of 900 votes, an implausible 92% of the vote. Meanwhile, Mousavi has enjoyed strong and growing popularity in the province as he has sought to consolidate opposition to Ahmadinejad around him.

Most Ahwazi Arabs expected vote-rigging, but few foresaw it on this scale. There is universal agreement that the provincial results were imposed by Ayatollah Khamenei without any count being conducted.

Speaking to the British Ahwazi Friendship Society, an Ahwazi activist said: "The results for Rezaee and Karroubi in their home towns demonstrates that electoral fraud is not only carried out to subvert the democratic will of the people but also to deny the voice of ethnic minority groups, such as the Lori, Bakhtiari and Ahwazi Arabs, who are opposed to this chauvinist regime and in particular Ayatollah Khamenei's puppet Ahmadinejad.

"Even hardline Majlis members are now admitting that the Ahmadinejad administration has a poor reputation in the province, particularly in dealing with the growing problem of drug addiction and unemployment among the youth.

"Hardliners have joined calls for a fair and just redistribution of wealth to eliminate poverty among the indigenous Arabs and realise the local population's legitimate demands.

"Ahmadinejad and his supporters say any such talk creates divisions within the Iranian population and try to suppress any debate on the economic and political situation of Ahwazi Arabs.

"Why would an overwhelming majority go and vote for this dictator?

"There are protests everywhere and the situation in Ahwaz is no different from Tehran."

The British Ahwazi Friendship Society, a London-based lobbying and advocacy group working with the Ahwazi Arabs, is urging the British government and the international community not to recognise the results of this election.

BAFS spokesman Nasser Bani Assad said: "All instruments of power are in the hands of the military and the Guards and the most ideologically driven and fundamentalist Shi'a clergy. They will not give one inch of power away, even to the so-called reformist opposition within the establishment.

"We encourage Ahwazi Arabs to organise civil society groups under any name as well as underground organisations to affect the very explosive situation.

"We call on Ahwazi Arabs to renew their intifada against the Iranian regime that began in April 2005 and rise up against this despised government, because the alternative is another four years of servitude, poverty and oppression.

"We hope that the scales will fall from the eyes of all peoples of Iran and that they will withdraw their participation in the regime's democratic charade."

Ahwaz plane 'bomb': suspicions fall on Bassij

Ahwaz plane 'bomb': suspicions fall on Bassij

The alleged terrorist attack attempt on the Kish Air flight from Ahwaz to Tehran, Iran, may have been linked to members of the paramilitary Bassij who are loyal to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, according to the British Ahwazi Friendship Society's sources in Ahwaz.

The plane, with 140 passengers, had been en route to Tehran on Saturday May 30 when the bomb was discovered 15 minutes after takeoff. The bomb was defused and no-one was injured.

The Iranian regime has been quick to blame Arab separatists and the Mujahideen-e Khalq for the alleged attempted bomb attack on the plane. Former president Mohammad Khatami, who had been in Ahwaz to support Mir-Hussein Mousavi, had flown on the same route shortly before the bomb was discovered. Khatami's assistant Mohammad Shariati told Al-Arabiya TV that implied that hardliners, fearing a strong 'reformist' challenge to the incumbent, may have been behind the attacks.

BAFS's sources state that Ahwaz airport is under massive security, particularly during the election. One said: "There are physical checks of every passenger, x-rays of all luggage and check points around the airport. It is impossible to let an insect through the security at Ahwaz airport. The only people who could get around it are in the Revolutionary Guards and many suspect the Bassij. The regime is trying to suggest the country is under threat from separatists in order to get people to vote for the hardliner Ahmadinejad, instead of Mehdi Karrubi who has supported ethnic and religious minority rights."

Ahmadinejad won the previous presidential elections following massive bomb attacks in Ahwaz City, which helped consolidate the vote behind hardliners. At the time, presidential hopeful Mustafa Moin dismissed the claims of separatist involvement and suggested that it was an inside job. The results of the 2005 elections in the Arab-majority Khuzestan province (once known as Arabistan or Al-Ahwaz), held just weeks after an Arab intifada against the regime, gave Mehdi Karrubi a clear lead with nearly 35% of the vote, ahead of Hashemi Rafsanjani on 20%, Ahmadinejad on 14% and Moin on 10%.
Ahwaz plane 'bomb': suspicions fall on Bassij

Ahwaz plane 'bomb': suspicions fall on Bassij

The alleged terrorist attack attempt on the Kish Air flight from Ahwaz to Tehran, Iran, may have been linked to members of the paramilitary Bassij who are loyal to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, according to the British Ahwazi Friendship Society's sources in Ahwaz.

The plane, with 140 passengers, had been en route to Tehran on Saturday May 30 when the bomb was discovered 15 minutes after takeoff. The bomb was defused and no-one was injured.

The Iranian regime has been quick to blame Arab separatists and the Mujahideen-e Khalq for the alleged attempted bomb attack on the plane. Former president Mohammad Khatami, who had been in Ahwaz to support Mir-Hussein Mousavi, had flown on the same route shortly before the bomb was discovered. Khatami's assistant Mohammad Shariati told Al-Arabiya TV that implied that hardliners, fearing a strong 'reformist' challenge to the incumbent, may have been behind the attacks.

BAFS's sources state that Ahwaz airport is under massive security, particularly during the election. One said: "There are physical checks of every passenger, x-rays of all luggage and check points around the airport. It is impossible to let an insect through the security at Ahwaz airport. The only people who could get around it are in the Revolutionary Guards and many suspect the Bassij. The regime is trying to suggest the country is under threat from separatists in order to get people to vote for the hardliner Ahmadinejad, instead of Mehdi Karrubi who has supported ethnic and religious minority rights."

Ahmadinejad won the previous presidential elections following massive bomb attacks in Ahwaz City, which helped consolidate the vote behind hardliners. At the time, presidential hopeful Mustafa Moin dismissed the claims of separatist involvement and suggested that it was an inside job. The results of the 2005 elections in the Arab-majority Khuzestan province (once known as Arabistan or Al-Ahwaz), held just weeks after an Arab intifada against the regime, gave Mehdi Karrubi a clear lead with nearly 35% of the vote, ahead of Hashemi Rafsanjani on 20%, Ahmadinejad on 14% and Moin on 10%.
Ahwazi Arabs and Kurds in solidarity with Pakistani Baloch over nuclear proliferation

Ahwazi Arabs and Kurds in solidarity with Pakistani Baloch over nuclear proliferation

Asserting that testing of nuclear weapons is the worst harm Pakistani occupation inflicted on Baluchistan, a Baluch group in the United States has asked the UN to take steps to stop Islamabad from conducting further nuclear tests on their land.

At an event, organised by American Friends of Baluchistan to mark the 11th anniversary of Pakistan's testing of nuclear weapons, Rasheed Baluch of Texas described May 28 as a day of mourning for nearly 20 million Baluch people all over the world.

"The three tests conducted in Chagai and two tests in Kharan are the worst harm Pakistan occupation inflicted on Baluchistan," said Rasheed Baluch, a board member of American Friends of Baluchistan.

The group called on United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to take action to denuclearise Pakistan and stop it from conducting further nuclear tests in Baluchistan.

Development expert Dr Fauzia Deeba, in a detailed presentation, deplored the pitiable social conditions in Baluchistan and said the lack of clean potable water has created havoc in the lives of the people.

Two Iran-based leaders Karim Abdian, executive director, Ahwaz Human Rights Organisation, and Karim Behruz, a representative of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran expressed solidarity with the Baluch people and Iran and urged the world, particularly the US, not to take the Iranian nuclear ambitions lightly.

Abdian called the testing of nuclear weapons on the lands of the indigenous people the worst form human rights violation.
Ahwazi Arabs and Kurds in solidarity with Pakistani Baloch over nuclear proliferation

Ahwazi Arabs and Kurds in solidarity with Pakistani Baloch over nuclear proliferation

Asserting that testing of nuclear weapons is the worst harm Pakistani occupation inflicted on Baluchistan, a Baluch group in the United States has asked the UN to take steps to stop Islamabad from conducting further nuclear tests on their land.

At an event, organised by American Friends of Baluchistan to mark the 11th anniversary of Pakistan's testing of nuclear weapons, Rasheed Baluch of Texas described May 28 as a day of mourning for nearly 20 million Baluch people all over the world.

"The three tests conducted in Chagai and two tests in Kharan are the worst harm Pakistan occupation inflicted on Baluchistan," said Rasheed Baluch, a board member of American Friends of Baluchistan.

The group called on United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to take action to denuclearise Pakistan and stop it from conducting further nuclear tests in Baluchistan.

Development expert Dr Fauzia Deeba, in a detailed presentation, deplored the pitiable social conditions in Baluchistan and said the lack of clean potable water has created havoc in the lives of the people.

Two Iran-based leaders Karim Abdian, executive director, Ahwaz Human Rights Organisation, and Karim Behruz, a representative of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran expressed solidarity with the Baluch people and Iran and urged the world, particularly the US, not to take the Iranian nuclear ambitions lightly.

Abdian called the testing of nuclear weapons on the lands of the indigenous people the worst form human rights violation.