On march 8th, the Swiss parliament hosted a conference for the representatives of different ethnicities in Iran . Prominent political and human rights figures including Dr. Karim Abdian , the senior advisor of Democratic Solidarity Party of Al-Ahwaz (DSPA), Mustafa Hijri , Head of Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (KDPI) , Shirin Ebadi, human rights advocate and noble prize winner along with representative of Baluchistan , Azerbaijani Turk , Turkemen and a group of Swiss parliamentarians .
Dr. Abdian shared his views on the matter , here are some highlight of his speech during the event. "Ahwazi-Arabs, residing mainly in the southwest of Iran, in the province of Khuzestan or as called by its indigenous name, eghlim Al-Ahwaz or Arabistan, are an ethnic, national and linguistic minority in Iran.
They are caught between an unfortunate phenomenon; they are subjected to racism due to historical Persian-Arab animosity. Ahwazi-Arabs have been one of the excluded constituent nationalities and Socio-economically, among the most oppressed and rank at the bottom- estimated to be between 5-7 million or about 10% of the population. The regime changed the Arabic name to Persian one to deny their Arab identity. Ahwazi-Arab historical lands account for 90% of Iran’s oil GDP, yet they live in abject poverty.
Notwithstanding all that oppression and persecution, Ahwazis along with other non-dominant nationalities in Iran believe in non-violent struggle and indeed believe that this amazing diversity can be translated into unity to establish a just, democratic and a pluralistic society as the Swiss, the Indians and the Americans have done so.
No, during the presidency of Mr. Rouhani there has not been any progress, nor there will be should he be elected president in May. Because he, as other founders of the Islamic Republic, are of the belief that, the minorities are secessionists and hence a danger to the territorial integrity of Iran.
here I will show Iran’s recent “human rights council” book bout minorities and how Arabs are being totally ignored and eliminated , city by city , ethnicity by ethnicity only Arabs are excluded , I talked about this in Geneva during the minority forum , it is a blatant anti -Arab sentiment .
I challenge the Swiss delegates or any European going to Iran to ask Rouhani was it an accident that a majority Arab province was not mentioned in the report ? it is the regime’s agenda to forcibly assimiliate the Arabs ,and deny the Arabs their nationality and heritage .
In response to a question related to foreign investment in Iran Abdian answered :” first of all no investments ,investment helps the Iranian regime because it lets Iranian regime continue its suppression ,but should the Swiss or Europeans should invest these are the conditions : one ,avoid Tehran and Isfahan ,but go to minority areas , two try to impose a quota , it is really important at least 1/3 from the local indigenous population , the regime will resist it , third, the company should comply with environmental studies , Chinese company dump the pollution in the rivers, and having safety standards for workers , under these standards we encourage investment in Iran ."