In recent days, I have come under fire from Nasser Kan’ani, the spokesman of the Iranian Foreign Ministry, after I published an article in The Jerusalem Post calling for Iran to be broken up into a number of separate ethnic states.

Clearly, their reaction to my article highlights how the regime feels threatened by the reality that Kurds, Baloch, Azerbaijanis, Ahwazis, Turkmens, and other ethnic groups in Iran would do anything to bring about the regime’s demise and the division of Iran into six ethnic states.

In addition, I believe that the free world has a moral duty to help them.

The minorities of Iran constantly demonstrate for their lands to secede from Iran. The Southern Azerbaijanis are the largest ethnic minority in Iran, yet in spite of Turkish being their mother tongue, they are denied the right to name their children with Turkic names or to study in their own language, and the regime has changed the names of many places from their original Turkic names to Farsi ones as a means of oppressing them.

Kurds, Baloch, Turkmens and Ahwazi Arabs face similar discrimination and are likewise protesting for their areas to secede from the mullah regime in Tehran and from the Farsi hegemony. The Ahwazi Arabs call their areas “The Occupied Territories” since the Iranian occupation of their land in 1925.

In his statement, Kan’ani had the chutzpah to condemn Israel over the civilian causalities in Gaza, even though the Iranian regime has been systematically waging a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Kurds, Baloch, Ahwazis, and South Azerbaijanis of Iran and has committed crimes against these groups that make the war in Gaza look like child’s play.

For example, during the Bloody Friday Massacre a couple of years ago, Iran murdered over 100 Baloch who were protesting against the rape of a Baloch teenager. This was not an isolated incident, as Iran is a regime that massacres youngsters, rapes teenagers, poisons school girls, and commits other grave crimes against humanity.

Another issue of contention for South Azerbaijanis is the fate of Lake Urmia. South Azerbaijanis routinely protest against the Iranian regime over the fate of this lake, their most important body of water. According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), “one of the largest permanent hypersaline lakes in the world and the largest lake in the Middle East” started drying up in 1995. The reason is believed to be related to “mismanagement” and “drought.”

The joint report by the Australian Macquarie University and South Azerbaijan Turkic Democratic Unity came to the same conclusion, adding that together with climate change, the cause of the lake drying up is “incorrect water consumption in agricultural fields” as well as “road and dam construction programs.” However, instead of listening to the voices of the South Azerbaijani people who demand ecological justice that will save Lake Urmia, the mullah’s regime systematically arrests protesters, calling them “evil and hostile elements.” This attitude make the South Azerbaijani people want to secede from Iran even more.

IRAN HUMAN Rights noted that during the Gaza war, Iran has increased its execution of political dissidents.
Iran’s minority struggle

Of particular concern is the dramatic escalation in the number of drug-related executions in 2023, which rose to 471 people, more than 18 times the figures recorded in 2020. Those executed for drug charges belong to the most marginalized communities in society; and ethnic minorities, particularly the Baloch, are grossly overrepresented amongst those executed.

Last month, four ethnic Kurds were executed for allegedly spying for Israel.

Commenting on the report, Iran Human Rights director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam said: “The Iranian regime uses the death penalty to prolong its survival. We are dealing with a regime that is oppressive, corrupt, and incompetent to solve people’s daily problems. Instilling societal fear is the regime’s only way to hold on to power, and the death penalty is its most important instrument.” Dissidents of all of Iran’s minority groups are systematically executed by this regime.

Not just Iran’s ethnic minority groups are suffering; its religious minority groups, such as Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians, also face systematic discrimination. However, no one suffers more there than the Baha’is. In recent days, it was reported that the Iranians bulldozed some 30-40 Bahai graves in the Kharavan cemetery on the outskirts of Tehran. Unlike Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians, the Baha’i religion is not even granted the right to exist in Iran. Baha’is are systematically denied access to higher education and they are routinely persecuted. “Even death does not bring to an end the persecution,” the Baha’i International Community stated. Indeed, the Baha’is, like all of the other minorities in Iran, will be delighted if this regime falls.

It is the duty of the free world to support the protests seeking “women, life, freedom” and the minorities of Iran wishing to establish a national government separate from Tehran to obtain their goal of toppling the mullahs in Iran.

These minority groups have suffered enough and we all have a moral obligation to stand in solidarity with them.

Just as the Soviet Union collapsed, Iran, like all dictatorial regimes, will one day fall and we in the free world have a duty to accelerate this process.

Source » jpost