Azerbaijan in Iran

Consequences of persecution and discrimination


Azerbaijan in Iran
by Ben Madadi

Among nationalist Azerbaijani circles of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Iranian Azerbaijan it is believed that the population of Iran's Azerbaijanis is around 30 million or even greater. That would make some 42% of Iran's population. It is of course a gross exaggeration that serves no purpose, even the purpose it has been promoted for; to make Iranian Azerbaijanis feel they are powerful so they can rise, or resist, against their unfair conditions. However it more likely serves the purposes of the opponents of Azerbaijan as a whole because of simply giving exactly the same false sense of power, which creates an atmosphere of complacency among Iranian Azerbaijanis rather than a sense of dissociation from the Iranian regime and its policies.

Azerbaijani nationalists are probably simply unaware rather than intentionally making up hugely exaggerated numbers. Azerbaijanis, those who consider themselves to be Azerbaijanis (that is the definition, but those whose one or both parents are Azerbaijanis but do not consider themselves to be Azerbaijanis ARE NOT Azerbaijanis, PERIOD), are almost all the inhabitants of the provinces of East Azerbaijan, Ardebil and Zanjan. And some 60% or so of the population of West Azerbaijan are probably Azerbaijani Turks, the rest being mostly Kurds. Then there are the provinces of Gilan, Qazvin, Tehran, Hamedan, Markazi and Kurdistan where the Azerbaijani population probably totals some 20% of the whole. Tehran's Azerbaijani population may also be around 20% but if we take into account the parentage and ancestry of Tehran's population, more than 30% of them must be originally from Azerbaijan.

However areas where Azerbaijanis are in the minority they are in a disproportionate cultural disadvantage compared to the Fars (ethnic Persian) population, due to state policies of Persian/Fars chauvinism and assimilation, and their children are very likely to adopt a Persian culture and ideology rather than preferring marginalisation as being part of an ethnic minority. This in time reduces, and has already reduced, the Azerbaijani population of Iran in areas where they have become minorities. So, the trend is, and has been for decades, against the Azerbaijanis and their proportion of Iran's population is on a steep decline. The proportion may have been some 30% during the rule of the Qajar (who had migrated from Ganja in present-day Republic of Azerbaijan to Mazandaran while keeping their Azerbaijani identity alive) who were Azerbaijani Turks (and considered themselves to be) and it can easily be 20% now, and falling.

So, how did this happen that such a powerful nation (if we may call them so), the Azerbaijanis, became such an insignificant one, under the pressure of almost disappearing in time? One third of the Azerbaijanis were lost to the Russians, now freed, and the remaining two-thirds are in the state of an identity-theft long in the process of completion.

It is astonishing that modern Iran, where currently almost everything is supposed to be Fars (or Persian) and any talk of anything but Persian culture, language, and traditions is either banned or seen as taboo, has been built, protected and cherished mostly by Azerbaijanis, not Persians. Persians (ethnic Fars) have usually been silent participants in the making of events in a brutal world of the years 1100 to 1900, ruled by Turks, mostly Azerbaijani Turks. Modern Persian nationalism that took over Iran almost eight decades ago by Reza Pahlavi's coup has re-written Iran's entire history, manipulated everything and given an extremely elusive image of a nation (supposedly a united Iranian nation) in which Aryan/Persian RACE has been the cause of any good, and everything else has been irrelevant or evil! This policy and ideology has been pretty much exactly copied by the clerical regime that currently rules Iran.

Manipulating history in third-world countries where there is little sense of reality, but more of conspiracy, is nothing abnormal. People have got used to conspiracies so much even natural news or events are almost always interpreted as conspiracies.

The Persian Empire, or what is known in the region as Iran, disappeared after the invasion of the Muslim Arabs, until the Safavid, Azerbaijani Turks from Azerbaijan proper (the Iranian part), re-established it over pretty much the same area the historical Persian Empire had lied. The Safavid preserved their Azerbaijani identity for a very long time, though as it is well known, the Azerbaijani Qizilbash, who brought them to power and protected Iran against its enemies, were unhappy about the Fars (Persians) participating in the leadership after the capital had moved to Isfahan, a non-Azerbaijani city, and feuds broke out. Feuds that have probably always existed though Azerbaijani and Fars, fearing the numerous Ottoman Turks, united under the Iranian flag in order to protect their SHIA religion and dominion. There was no talk or idea about Iranians being Persians, Aryans, or anything alike.

It was the Azerbaijanis, the Safavid family and the Qizilbash, who for almost two centuries protected Iran, built its capital in central Iran, Isfahan, and gave Iran its most beautiful city to this date. The only non-Azerbaijani (or non-Turk) Iranian rulers have been the Zand who were not able to take northern Iran and only ruled southern and central Iran, who were mostly Fars populated. And the Zand state fell by the Qajar onslaught, who were again, as mentioned earlier, Azerbaijani Turks themselves.

Neither the Fars nor the Turk of Iran, take pride in the Qajar family, for one reason or another, or maybe just luck. Their rule has been associated with loss of huge territories, and some Iranian pride, to some of the world's powerful empires othe time, more specifically the British and the Russians. Nevertheless the Qajar kept most of Iran together, built Iran's current capital city, Tehran, and just like the Safavid, considered both Fars, Turk, and other Shia citizens as being Iranians (they did discriminate against the Kurds). Both the Safavid and the Qajar protected and cherished Persian (Fars) literature and more often wrote in Farsi rather than in their own language (even the Ottoman Turks usually wrote in Farsi rather than Ottoman Turkish, especially their poetry), simply because they considered Farsi to be more beautiful, in a literary sense, which can hardly be denied.

I have no wish to insult the Iranian Fars (Persians), or to try to diminish their significance or importance, in making the modern Iran, however it is a very well known fact that it was not just the ruling families of Iran but also most of the fighting forces (the army) who were Azerbaijanis. Those folks built the modern Iran and protected it against outsiders.

And the same Azerbaijanis have, for several decades, lost the country they so heavily participated to build to some Nazi-nostalgic Aryan/Persian extremist nationalists! Ever since the non-Azerbaijani (so they considered themselves to be, although they had partial Azerbaijani genes, from their mothers) Pahlavi took over, to this date, Azerbaijanis have become ETHNIC MINORITIES, who don't even have ethnic minority rights. Their existence is more like a nonsense to what is preferred to be an ARYAN/PERSIAN state. They are treated like undesirable, but tolerated (as long as they behave) guests in the country they mostly built.

Well, it is true that they got pretty much, very badly, screwed, and they know and accept it. As they say, shit happens! The post-Pahlavi time has even tried, and mostly succeeded, to erase the true identity of the Azerbaijanis by giving them a new name, Azeris, or Azaris; something that my parents, when heard, thought I was speaking a foreign language. Using Azerbaijani language has been banned, and acknowledging being Azerbaijani, or Azerbaijani Turk, can end you up in prison, tortured or killed.

Many Azerbaijani-rights activists have indeed been killed, hanged, tortured, disappeared and at least intimidated. Little is known about them and most Iranian human-rights activists have ignored the faith of the Azerbaijanis who have been killed by Iranian regimes. Many Azerbaijanis have been forced to flee their country for simply acknowledging their existence and true identity. Iran's so-called ISLAMIC regime has even aided and is still aiding Christian Armenia, while Armenia has occupied 20% of the Republic of Azerbaijan!!

Azerbaijani presence among the Iranian politicians may be presented as extraordinary and significant by giving the example of the supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, though he does not speak Azerbaijani as his langauge at home, or almost anywhere else (though he can, at least to some degree) and does not consider himself to be Azerbaijani, even if both, or one of, his parents seem to have been originally from Khamene (in Iranian Azerbaijan) who migrated to Khorasan. The fact of the matter is that Azerbaijanis have largely been distanced from Iranian politics in the past 80 years or so and their presence has not been proportionate to their percentage of the population.

And the results have been obvious. Iranian Azerbaijan, for the past decades, has received the least investments and development funds from the Pahlavi, or Islamic, regimes, and as the result Azerbaijanis have largely moved to Tehran and other non-Azerbaijani cities for search of better lives. Almost all Azerbaijani families in Iranian Azerbaijan have at least about 1/4 of their relatives in Tehran, Karaj and other non-Azerbaijani cities.

In Iran's intoxicated and manipulated spheres of talk or even academia, belonging to a nation or group is linked to the ugliest and most disputed word of all, the RACE, while true belonging to a group or nation is about choice, not race, especially when it is a collective identity. After-all Iranians, Turks (Middle-Eastern type, not central Asian type), Europeans, Arabs etc are all Caucasians, scientifically speaking. There is no Aryan RACE, except within the intoxicated minds of post-Pahlavi, still dreaming, nationalist Iranians, and Afghans. And some neo-Nazis, pardon me forgetting! I think they have formed virtual, Internet, clubs where they regularly discuss.

Where is this process going to reach and what is to do with it? The wrongs that have been done to nations within countries, Kurds in Turkey and Iran, Azerbaijani Turks in Iran, and other smaller nations, are burdens on the preferred nations on whose names they are done. Persians in Iran on whose name the Azerbaijanis and others have been pressured and discriminated against are not entirely guilty because the acts have been done by authoritarian regimes, not democratic ones. However there are many extremists out there and the Internet is full of them who for the mere expression of being an Azerbaijani will accuse you of pan-Turkism, Turanism, treachery and so on.

There is indeed a significant proportion of the population of Fars/Persian in Iran who do support Iranian policies of national persecution and discrimination. Maybe they are sincere in their pursuit of what they have been taught at home and school. While pan-Turkism (whatever that may be) is the worst of any possible and imaginable word, pan-Fars-ism (whatever that may be too) is considered sacred and noble! While Turan-ism is the most evil of all evils, Iran-ism is the greatest of the great, especially when it is written Arian-ism.

Playing with words in order to placate and intimidate is nothing new. Those who give these apparently horrifying titles shall read some history, without the usual Persian/Iranian interpretations, and understand that maybe it was the same 'torke khar' (who are indeed 'khar' because they have proved to like giving rides) that saved Iran from the some perceived Turanism or pan-Turkism. Could they imagine their Aryan folks having fought against the Ottoman Turks? There are some Aryan/Persian folks left outside the Iran that Azerbaijanis have mostly built, and they are called Afghans and Tajiks! Their Aryan/Persian glory is exported to the outside world every single day, after having been processed in Pakistan, sometimes labelled as Heroin, other times as Cocaine, Crack and so on. Not that there is anything wrong about being a Fars/Aryan/Persian, but there is no disputing realities.

Iran was not supposed to be a country of the Persian, or the Aryan, nation, because the Persians are just about half of the population, or maybe less, and there is neither an Aryan nation or an Aryan race to build a country upon. But it could be just like any country, a union of peoples or nations, where there is no preferred one, and each nation within the country can decide about their own affairs in case they wish to. Breaking up countries is too costly and not worth any attempt, but discriminatory policies of authoritarian regimes are creating the right atmosphere that over time lead to social discontent that can overflow and cause serious problems at any moment. And the preferred nation, Fars in Iran's case, may be seen as the guilty silent participant of a huge injustice for many generations.

The intention of this article is nothing but to point to a problem that exists, and many people may not be aware of it. The current regime of Iran does not care about human rights whether the human-being is Fars, Turk, Kurd or whoever. So there can be no talk about human rights while there is nothing even distantly similar to human rights in an Iran in which, just like the Middle Ages, individuals are hanged in public so the leaders can be feared.


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by my honour is my identity (not verified) on

''even the Ottoman Turks usually wrote in Farsi rather than Ottoman Turkish, especially their poetry''
Hi ,Ben .First of all I must say the offical language of Ottomans was always Ottoman Turkish from start to end and language of art and poetry was also mostly Ottoman Turkish .How can you ignore Nedim and Dede Efendi etc... They influenced Persian language but not to use it but to enrich their own Turkish.Khans encouraged writers to translate books in Turkish for example. From Siberia to gates of Vienna we have always speak Turkish ALWAYS!!!! because it is OUR İDENTİTY!!!!! it is OUR LANGUAGE, OURRR!!!!

But look at what you did ,you always fought for Persian (Iran) and Persian language.I really can not believe you. How can a person can ignore their mother tounge? where is your honour?? Shame on you ,go on to fight your beloved İran but do you know the award of fighting: ASSİMİLATİON!!!!!


The same or worst in the region

by Anonymous06543222 (not verified) on

Please read this:


And note where it says:
"I think Iran should have a responsibility to pay some attention to the plight of Tajik-speaking people. But Iran pays no attention whatsoever."

Now, Ben, do you expect IRI support you against Armenians?!


To Amin287

by Sarı Gəlin (not verified) on

Firstly, please don't cite wikipedia as it's unreliable and unacademic source

Secondly, I mention ancient Kirgiz and other non-Mongoloid looking Turkic people in order to show the proponents of Turkification argument that everything was not that black and white, e.g. the hordes of oriental looking Oghuz Turks arruved en masse from Central Asia and "turkified" the Caucasoid looking Pahlavi/Azari speaking population of Azerbaijan by imposing their Turkic language on them. The fact of the matter is the Turkic people have always been diverse anthropologically so to say that Azerbaijanis are not real Turks just because they don't look Mongoloid does not make much sense. A real Turks does not equal and Asiatic/Mongoloid/Oriental looking individual.

Thirdly, the Turkification argument does not prove anything. Gaul was conquered by legions of Julis Caesar and subsequently Romanized. Does it mean that the French people today our Turmust renounce their Frenchness and return to their Celtic roots just because they are genetically more Celtic than Latin or Roman? Same with England that had been largely Celtic before the arrival of Anglo-Saxons who intemarried with locals and imposed their language. Recent DNA studies have shown that majority of Brits today are mostly Celtic genetically. Once again, does that mean that they have to forget English languge and embrace their Celtiness?

Which is what the Aryanist want us Azerbaijanis to do, they want us to be proudly Persian and give up our Turkic identity. Ain't gonna happen.


To Sarı Gəlin

by Amin287 on

Sarı Gəlin write: "The Kirgiz were described as having red hair and fair eyes in Chinese and MIddle Eastern sources"
What you say is like saying "all of us are humans". So Turks had and have Mongolid, Dark hair-dark eye, red hair and fair eyes feartures and every thing in between, assuming that what you say is correct. Then how one group can be originated from several races!?
Sarı Gəlin write: The Azerbaijanis today are Turkic, because they speak a Turkic language whether they are genetically identical to other Turkic people or not. The language shapes the peoples' identity more that anything else."
Not so, It seems anthropology is more important for you than anything else, because you began with it. By the way Culture is more important, not language.
I propose you go here: //



by Amin287 on

Dear Ben,

Although there are some truth in your words, but it is not exactly as you say. Iranian TV (I mean national not provincial) even broadcasts TV serials in Azerbaijani Turkic (with subtitle), sometimes. In Tehran university there is a society of students who even try to use pure Azeri Turkic in their statements. The other cases were mentioend by others. However I think that is not enough. Azari children need Azerbaijani Turkic book of literature from the first level of education.

However sometimes You play innocent:
These are Azeri people:
Ayatollah Meshkini
Ayatollah Rey Shahri
Ayatollah Ardebili
Ayatollah Hasani (of Urmia)
Hojatoleslam Hadi Qaffaari (A falange at the beginning of the revolution)
Ayattollah Khalkhali (butcher)
Ayatollah Khamenei (you may not like to call him Azeri, but Our Azari Hizbullah are persistent about that.)
Mr. Saidi (right hand of Ahmadinezhad)
Mossadeq (full or partly)
Bazargan (full or partly)
Muhammad Reza Shah (75%)
Reza Shah (50%)
Mir Hossein Musavi

Poor Sunni Kurds who are under the rule of Persians, Azeris and Shia Kurds in Iran.

Turks were not democrat or cherishing human rioghts to let us keep our culture and language, but they didn't have any other way to rule the lands. They killed Iranian enough that the population of Iran began to reach the amount it has before Mongols, just in Pahlavi dynasty. They ruined the Iranian middle class. Actually the achievements of Turks were great, they were good at horsemanship and military. If you want to take pride for that it is your choice, but how could you do that when you didn't have any part in it!? Ferdowsi said: "Honar nazde Irâniyân asto bas" (Art is in the hands of Iranians, period.) Although some interpret his verse as: "Iranians have plenty of art", but the other interpretation is what I mentioned. The verse is racist now, but poor Ferdowsi have actually said the truth. The other people around him were Turks and Arabs, both without much culture at that time. The prophet Muhammad elevated Arabs who buried some of their girls alive and Islam and Iranians elevated Turks and showed them that there are more things to the world than horsemanship and killings. You see Turks didn't have any other way exept to value Persian Language. Modern Turks, like Safavids, dosn't count, because they were not Turks, but Iranians.

You may say that another Aryan is repeating himself. But the truth and lies both are repeated everyday. Separatists also repeat themselves, because they have other agendas than the truth. By the way Aryans didn't have blonde hairs and blue eyes, that is just the nonsense of Vandal Germans (Hitler) (// who like Turks didn't have so much history and wanted to steal it from others. Irony is that the target of both were and are mostly Iranians. Hitler stole Indo-Iranian Aryan and Indian Swastika and those who call themselves Turks steal Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi/Rumi, Babak Khorramdin, Nezami, etc because they think that they have lost their identity and have no choice but to make it. And as I said in the other page we are only partly Aryan.

You say: "But Azerbaijanis ended up, after Reza Shah, having their own langaueg banned in their own land". I didn't know that Azeibaijani Turkic was the official language of Iranian Azerbaijan before Reza Shah? Is that correct or wrong?

You say: "God! My ancestors 200 years before may have been anything! If they were gypsies and I am an Azerbaijani now... so what?"
You can choose whatever identity you want, but you cannot steal others' history and culture. Leave the Iranian name of "Azarbaijan", Babak Khorramdin, Nizami and ... alone, then we will respect your Turkic identity. Then you are not Azerbaijani or Azeri, you are a Turk and should call your country (north of Aras(Araxes)) "The Republic of Turkisatn". I propose to modify the postfix "-istan" also, because that is Persian. Arabs may agree to add the postfix "-iye", for example "East Turkiye" is good. :-)

You say: "However Azerbaijanis have always protected the whole IRAN... not just their own!"
You are right, Azeri Iranians always protected Iran, but Safavids just like Ayatollah Khomeini did it for Power not that they were kind or something.

Persians have Turkic genes as Azaris do.

Someone wrote: "Iranian regime, including its high-ranking “Azeri” servants always curse and threaten Jews for occupying Palestine, but when it comes to Armenia’s occupation of Azerbaijan, instead, they reward Armenia.  This is not only anti-Azeri, but it is also anti-Islamic."
Islamic Republic had nearly similar strategy in case of Chechenia. It was not anti-Azeri.

You say: ""Sorry, don't have time for the rest of your Aryan stuff. Find some other chat-buddy"
Someone answered: "shows I believe that you are here to push your point of view down everyone's throat"
I think he is right. In the article you right "but those whose one or both parents are Azerbaijanis but do not consider themselves to be Azerbaijanis ARE NOT Azerbaijanis, PERIOD". That is like saying "yogurt is white", so why you stress on such a inevitable thing? Mentioning half Azeris and using capitalization to yell smells "you are not ours, go to hell".
Many Azeris consider themselves of Iranian peoples (//, They are Azerbaijani and you cannot change it. If you don't want to creat discord, please write milder.

You say: "There are indeed many Azerbaijani CLERICS in Iran but high-ranking politicians in Iran are probably 80% FARS, or semi-Fars (non-Fars parentage who consider themselves Fars)"
Do have any good reference. When you say "non-Fars parentage who consider themselves Fars", it is like the yelling above. How do you know that they consider themselves "Fars"? They can consider themselves "Azeri" and your yelling dosn't do.

You say: "Being Fars, Azerbaijani, Kurd or any other nationality etc is all about CHOICE!"
You don't answer the arguments of others, you just repeat yourself. It is a choice, but please tell panturks and other friends not to steal Iranian , mesopotamian, ... cultures. "Stealing" means that there is something wrong!

You write: "But most of Afghanis are what these Aryan-ist folks call ARYANS, and their country have not been built in any way by any help from Azerbaijanis. Why haven't they faired so well? Why has Iran faired better? You can make up your own mind!"
An Aryan can be an addict or a drug smuggler. Aryan dosn't mean super human. They are just a group of people who at a period of history had great achivements, now they are miserable. To answer "Why has Iran faired better?". That has many factors, yes, one of them is the brave Azari people, the others are: oil, more nearnesss to Europe, ...

azerbaijani says: "It matters how people there define themselves - Azeri Turks. Just because you don't like this name, does not mean millions of people should change their background, culture or language now."
Only "language", not "background and culture". The latter are not Turkic.

azerbaijani says: "Actually, the definition Persian technically does not exist since the end of Achaemenid rule. The definition is used mostly by Iranian in America, who knows very little of his own history to hide his Iranian identity, because the word "Iran" is not as marketable in America. In addition, Persian sounds cute, carpets, cats, miauu, like Maz
So get alive, be proud of being Iranian, but stop mocking yourself as Persian, when you're not one."
Thank you, That is what I do. Everywhere I say I am "Iranian" and "Persian-Speaking", because although you like to call us Persians, we are not necessarily.

I become tired. Hopefully I will answer others latter.



by Sarı Gəlin (not verified) on

Among the hardcore "Aryanists" there is a notion that Azerbaijanis are not real Turks but were "Turkified" relatively recently, just about 500 years ago and often cite DNA research indicating that the population of today's Iranian Azerbaijan is in fact genetically much closer to Persians than to Central Asian Turks. Azerbaijanis, they postulate, just like Anatolian Turks look nothing like real, authentic Turkic peoples, i.e. they don't possess the Mongoloid/Asiatic/Oriental feautures that are characteristic of the early Turkic conquerors of the Middle East and Asia Minor. This theory is too simplistic to say the least the least. First of all, besides Azerbaijani and Anatolian Turks there are numerous Turkic ethnic groups today that look mostly Caucasoid such as Qashqai,Iraqi Turcoman, Crimean Tatars, Volga Tatars,Cuvash, Bashkir, Gagauz, Nogai,etc. Second of all, many other Turkic peoples combine both Caucasoid and Mongoloid features, for example Turkmens of Iran and Turkmenistan, Uzbeks and Uygurs. Third of all, even in much earlier times various Turkic peoples were described as having Caucosoid features. The Kirgiz were described as having red hair and fair eyes in Chinese and MIddle Eastern sources. The Kipchaks, aka Cumans who occupied a huge territory in the early Middle Ages, strething from Black Sea to Aral Sea, were described by the neigbouring Slavs as fair complexioned. The Slavs called Turkic Kipchaks, "Polovtsy", from "polova", the old Slavic word for thaw, as a refernce to the blond hair of the Kipchak. The bootom lines is that Turkic peoples from the ancient times were not exclusiverly Mongoloid.
But even if we accept the notion that Azerbaijani DNA is absolutely identical to Persian what will it prove? Recent DNA studies have also revealed that the population of Brtish Isles is genetically much closer to the Iberian populations than to North European. Does it mean that they are less English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish now? Or the French people, who largely decent form Celts have to denounce their French language and return to the pre-Romanization times of Gaul? The Azerbaijanis today are Turkic, because they speak a Turkic language whether they are genetically identical to other Turkic people or not. The language shapes the peoples' identity more that anything else. The sooner the "Aryanists" realize that the better for all of us.


"Today it appears that Iran

by John24 (not verified) on

"Today it appears that Iran is only for Aryans." Odlar, I suggest you travel to and spend some time in Iran. Only then will you realize that the very subtle inflammatory misinformation presented in this thread (by Ben "I'm an Azeri" Madadi), is an intentional big lie. How are the "mountain Turks", or in other places "the etc. people" doing by its ruling citizens in power? (no comparison).


Learn from your ancestors

by Odlar Yurdu (not verified) on

How the Persians have always been highly sophisticated and cultural people while the Turks have always been brutal nomadic barbarians?! While it is true that the first wave of Turkic tribes lacked the sophistication that had been characteristic of the sedentary civilizations of the Middle East, which is understandable , given the difference in landscapes between Central Asia, Mongolia, Siberia and the Middle East, they nevertheless were quick to adapt to new cultures. For instance both Seljuks were patrons of Persian culture and their great admirers and it’s a well-known historical fact. Even the Mongols adapted fairly quickly to the local customs wherever the settled. As well, don’t forget that your beloved Aryans are not indigenous to the Iranian plateau, they had been nomadic too at some point, and their arrival to what is now Iran was preceded by other civilizations such as Elam for instance.
It’s simply pathetic how the country and people that have always prided themselves in their ancient culture, nowadays simply lost the ability to come to terms with their own history. It’s seems to me that ancient Persians were way more cosmopolitan and tolerant than their contemporary compatriots. The Jews, for example, fared quite well both under Cyrus the Great and Darius the Great. There were hundreds of different ethnic groups in Iran since antiquity and some of them, like Caucasian Albanians, fought against the invading army of Alexander within the ranks of the Persian Empire.

Today it appears that Iran is only for Aryans. Bottom line....Persians ,learn from your ancient ancestors, they were way more accepting than you are today!


Iran : from Aryanism to Pan Turkism

by Oslonor (not verified) on

Iran: from Aryanism to Pan Turkism

this is an interesting article based on a very good by an Azeri Turk which honestly presents the azeri turk agenda.


Ben Madadi

To/About Oslonor

by Ben Madadi on

I visited that website. The information in the website is not of value!


On Aryans

by Oslonor (not verified) on

Please see my blog on who are Aryans and who are Iranians and Persians?

Persians and Hollywood


Good article

by Iranli (not verified) on

Great article! Keep up the good work! Iran will not be Aryanized or Persianized. Yashasin Azerbaijan!!


1) Safavids kept a

by irandoost on

1) Safavids kept a geneology of their ancestors. So they were aware
that Shaykh Safi ad-Din Ardabili was Kurdish. Furthermore, Shaykh Safi
al-Din Ardabili was a Shafi'ite Sunni Muslim. In the Middle East, until
fairly recently, everyone is known by their father-line. The
father-line determines the ethnicity. Putting conspiracy theories into
Pahlavids is funny, but it won't work. The two oldest and extant
manuscript of Safavids describe the ancestry of the Safavid order
through Firuz Shah Zarin Kolah a Kurd from Sangan in Kurdistan. The
reason they are called Safavids in the first place is because of Shaykh
Safi ad-din Ardabili. That is how they got their name Safavid!

Azerbaijan was still not Turkified before the advent of Ismail I.
Recent research shows that Tabriz was Persian/Iranic speaking right
before Safavids. Indeed the majority of the population of Azerbaijan
were Sunni and Shafi'ite. Turks always followed Hanafism. There are
Fahlaviyat (Persian dialect) poems from Mama Esmat Tabrizi and Pir
Zehtab Tabrizi in the Aq-Qoyunlu era. Awliya Chelebi who visited
Shirvan, Maragaheh, Tabriz during the Ottomon era notices that the
women of Maragheh speak Fahlavi.

Furthermore, Shah Ismail spoke Turkish and Persian. But he favored
the Persians over the Ghezelbash elements. He also identified with
Shahnameh, named his kids after Shahnameh names, weakened Turkish power
within his realm (by creating the position of Wakil and assigning it to
Persian and giving complete control of ghezelbash to Wakils), he
wasn't your anti-Persian pan-Turkists that you have in mind. Note when
Ismail conquered Tabriz, he identified with Iran's pre-Islamic
mythology and past.

There is no sign of any Turkish mythology displayed. His religious
poems for his followers (using much Persian/Shahnameh imagery) was a
necessity and in those poems, he considers himself the divinity and
that is why he had royal followers who thought of him as some sort of
God. But after Chaldiran, this relationship was sort of weakened..

In the end, given that Ismail was a mixture of Greek, Turkomen (both
through mother-lines) and Kurdish (father-line), the Safavids created a
geneology to trace them back to the foudation of their religion. Thus
all the Safavids manuscripts after 1501 trace their ancestry to Hijaz
in the Arabian peninsula. This was the source of their claimed
legitimacy, nothing else.

If Ismail I was a proud "Turk" he would not have created such a geneology to Hijaz but he would have created it to Oghuz Khan.

When he entered Tabriz:

''Today I have come to the world as a Master.
Know Truly I am Haydar's son
I am Faridun, Khusraw, Jamshid and Zohak.
I am Zal's son (Rustam) and Alexandar."

The Shirvanshahs of the caucus were completely Persianized,
considered themselves descendants of Sassanids kings and yet they had
an Arab father-line. So they are considered Arabic origin but
Persianized. Similarly Ghaznavids and Seljuqs did not even produce one
line of Turkish. They spoke Persian in their court, and did not even
consider themselves Turks. The Seljuqids of Rome actually used the word
"Turk" for uncultured peasants and this usage continued in Ottomon
times. Yet the Seljuqids are considered Turks. So it has nothing to do
with "Aryanists" is modern scholarship. Neither the Ottomons nor
the Seljuqs considered themselves "Turks". Indeed the word "Turk" was a
insult in their domain. But scholars consider theml Turks since their
father-line is Turkish. That is how modern scholarship works, because
ethnicity in a sense for dynasties was defined by fatherline and no one
cared about any other lineage at that time.

Also Ismail I would not fit into the definition of the modern
pan-Turkist nationalist like Elchibey. To tell you the truth, he is
more like Ali Khaemeni (whom you do not consider Azeri) than Elchibey.
Anyways the good stuff Ismail I did for Iran is respected and that
Azerbaijanis played a major role in defending and protecting Iran is
also acknowledged. But that has nothing to do with you. I mean Cyrus
the Great put Iran on the map, or Ferdowsi did great things, but what
does that have to do with other individuals? Be your own man.



"Azerbaijanis for acknowledging themselves as Azerbaijanis have been
killed in the hands of Pahlavi or IRI regimes being accused of spies or
'PAN-TURKISTS'; or separatists."

That is just wrong. Shahryar acknowledges himself as Azeri and even
writes a poem against Tehranis. He created the best piece of literature
in the Azerbaijani language in any period. (Forget about Ismail, Fizuli
and Nasimi which is not readable for the average Azeri unless they know
Persian). You can hear Azeri music on the Jam-e-Jam t.v. of IRI.

". Azerbaijani usage in any official sense is practically banned though
the Iranian constitution expressly recognise the right of non-Fars
Iranians to promote their own langauge."

Not true. It is not banned. But it is not official since it has no
official status. There is only one official language according to the
Iranian constitution. The Iranian constitution says about teaching
other languages; "They are free". That is they are allowed, but not at
government expense. (Personally I believe the state or province should
take care of the issue and the central government should teach
Persian). Just like for example Shi'i Islam is official and the other
religion like Armenian Christianity is free. So if this law is not to
your taste, it does not make it discrimination in the sense that it is
the law. The law can be changed through a democtratic process but by
itself, there is not a violation. "Free" and "official" are different
terms. IRI t.v. has Azeri songs even in their overseas programming. So
it is not banned. The state (east Azerbaijan for example) programming
and radio and newspapers are also present.

"even Azerbaijanis are not very often (depends on the moodof the time) allowed to name their children Azerbaijani names. "

Not true. You try to name your kids ancient Shahnameh names like
Jamasp, Goshtasp, Zardhust, Tahmasp.. it is not allowed. But Aydin,
Arsalan, Aslan, Yashars, Maral's, Solmaz's abound.

I brought a good solid text that shows in 1916, there was about 10
newspapers in Tabriz and all of them were Persian. That is important
point. Or the constitution of the constitutional revolution was only in
Persian. So Persian was the prominent literary language of Azerbaijan
before Pahlavids. The demand for Turkish is not really home-grown
phenomenon but due to the influence of Turkey/Azerbaijan. This
influence is thus external


Aryan exists. Iran means the lands of Aryan (literally) and it is used in scientific literature:


"West Iranians: the ancient Medes (mAda of Rai
and Azerbaijan), the mod. Kurds, Baluchis, and Persians (ancient pArsa
of fArs) as well as the Tajik;"

Azerbaijanis are also Aryans (Medes). Having Turkic language does
not make them "Turks". Just like we are now speakig English. The Azeris
played a major role in the Mede, Achaemenid, Parthian, Sassanid era and
the recent Turkification of the language in the past 400-700 years
should not era the historical identity.


Finally did Azerbaijanis make you some sort of spokeman or
something? Did they vote for you? How calm every pan-Turkists
nationalist considers himself a representative of all Azerbaijans? I
believe the majority of Azerbaijanis don't care (like you admit) about
these things. Afterwards I think there are more Azerbaijanis like
Khaemeni (religious and tied to Iran as a Shi'a state) and Kasravi type
(non-religious but like Iran) than your type (Pishevari type). Also why
you use the word "Aryanists" in every sentence for whoever that does
not agree with your Turkish-nationalist viewpoint. As you said, you got
angry when Iran remained neutral in the Karabagh conflict. Okay,
despite your sentiments, that issue has nothing to do with the internal
human rights of Iran. If we consider Iran's national interest first
(like any normal Iranian), then whatever government that jokes with
Iran's territorial integrity is not a friendly nation.


Ben Madadi

Final clarification (I hope, for me)

by Ben Madadi on

I came to see the article now, and see that people have been discussing TWO main issues:
1) Safavid were Azerbaijani
2) Azerbaijani is banned in Iran
1) Researches about the Safavid have been mainly (if not 100%) done after the Pahlavi came to power. The Pahlavi wanted to distance Iran's Azerbaijani Turks from the Safavid identity becasue it would have been unpleasant to have some non-Aryans (Azerbaijani Turks) having founded the Iran they, the Pahlavi, were calling an Aryan land. So, they tried their best to turn the Safavid into "ARYANS", which would be either Persians, or other non-Turkic Iranic peoples. So, they found a link with the forefather of the Safavid some 200 years before Shah Ismail who founded the Safavid dynasty. One things today's Aryan-ist Iranians do not understand is that identity, being Fars or Turk, is not about who your ancestors are hundreds of years ago, but what YOU are and what you consider yourself to be. Azerbaijan 500 years ago when the Safavid became powerful was already a Turkified land and an Azerbaijani identity was well developed. So, the Safavid were Azerbaijani, who later (probably) more than 100 years or so after Shah Ismail turned Persian and considered themselves Persians, but I am not throroughly sure about this. Not all Azerbaijanis consider the Safavid as heroes. It is just a historical fact that the founders of the modern Iran we know today were not Persians or other so-called Aryans (this has no scientific or identity meaning) but Azerbaijanis and this has been the main reason for Azerbaijani attacment to IRAN, which survives to this day very well and the vast majority of Azerbaijanis consider themselves Iranians, for the same reason the post-Pahlavi Iran tried to erase.
2) Azerbaijanis for acknowledging themselves as Azerbaijanis have been killed in the hands of Pahlavi or IRI regimes being accused of spies or "pan-Turkists" or separatists. Although there are books in Azerbaijani language in Iran the subject is extremely sensitive and can always cause trouble for Azerbaijanis. Azerbaijani usage in any official sense is practically banned though the Iranian constitution expressly recognise the right of non-Fars Iranians to promote their own langauge. It is IMPOSSIBLE to ban people from speaking their own language among themselves but Iranian authorities do not allow Azerbaijani to be taught in schools or to be used in public and even Azerbaijanis are not very often (depends on the moodof the time) allowed to name their children Azerbaijani names. It is curious that although there is plenty of evidence that IRI regime (and the Pahlavi before it) had no respect for human rights there are many Iranians who defend the policies of the Iranian regime of today, or the one before it!


again your mistaken

by irandoost on

0) Shah Ismail's ancestry is mixed of Greek, Kurdish and Turkomen. The Fatherline is Kurdish.

1) Sam Mirza, his son says he wrote Turkish and Persian poetry, but we only have alittle of his Persian left. Also many of his Turkish poems are considered unauthentic and there has not been a critical manuscript. You can't base background on language of poetry alone. Or else Shahryar wrote 90% of his poetry in Persian. So that sort of logic does not work.

2) You totally ignored that Shah Ismail never mentions dada qorqud or any turkish stories. But when he took power, he says:

''Today I have come to the world as a Master.
Know Truly I am Haydar's son
I am Faridun, Khusraw, Jamshid and Zohak.
I am Zal's son (Rustam) and Alexandar."

3) Again you ignore that Shah Ismail dedicated the Shahnameh Tahmaspi to his so. The names of his sons and daugher were Persian Shahnameh names and not Turkish.


You can say "undeniable" all you want, but modern scholarship consides Safavids of Iranic stock.

Kathryn Babayan, Mystics, Monarchs and Messiahs: Cultural Landscapes of
Early Modern Iran , Cambridge , Mass. ; London : Harvard University
Press, 2002. pg 143: “It is true that during their revolutionary phase
(1447-1501), Safavi guides had played on their descent from the family
of the Prophet. The hagiography of the founder of the Safavi order,
Shaykh Safi al-Din Safvat al-Safa written by Ibn Bazzaz in 1350-was
tampered with during this very phase. An initial stage of revisions saw
the transformation of Safavi identity as Sunni Kurds into Arab blood
descendants of Muhammad.”

Sigfried J. De Laet. History of humanity: scientific and cultural
development. Taylor & Francis. 2005. pg 259: "From the evidence
available, at the present time, it is certain that the Safavid family
was of indigineous Iranian stock, and not of Turkish ancestry as it is
sometimes claimed. It is probable that the family originated in Persian
Kurdistan, and later moved to Azerbaijan, where they adopted the Azari
form of Turkish spoken there, and eventually settled in the small town
of Ardabil sometimes during the eleventh century.


5) Zoroastrianism and Achaemenids existed way before Safavids. And what is "your Achaemenid, Aryan, Zoroastrian fantasies". If you can't discuss properly and academically, and have to make it personal, then it seems you have lost character. And Safavids by the way identified with the Shahnameh, not Dede Qorqud. The whole story of KurOghlu is actually anti-Safavids.


6) Shah Ismail , brought Persian Wakils to run the whole government and gave them power over Ghezelbash tribes.


One chronicle of that time says:"Between 1508 and 1524, the year of Esma@¿^l's death, the shah appointed five successive Persians to the office of wak^l.
Of the five, the first died a year or so after his appointment, and one
chronicle makes the significant statement that he "weakened the
position of the Turks" (K¨oræa@h, fol. 453b). Qezelb@a@æ
resentment against any weakening of their dominant position in the
Safavid administrative system came to a head under his successor,
Najm-e T¨a@n^."


Finally nothing against Shah Ismail (he did good and bad). His services for Iran is recognized. But among the bad was killing of hundreds of thousands of Sunnis (even pregnant Sunni women in Tabriz and in Tabriz alone he killed at least 20,000) as well taking innocent boys to the castle of Hasht Behesht and doing unnatural stuff with them. So I am not sure if "Every Azerbaijani" would consider Shah Ismail a "heroe", if they knew alittle more about him. So making "heroe" out of someone is not really necessary. Just study them, accept the good, reject the bad and finally note that the Safavids created false geneology in order to make themselves Seyyed. So from this perspective, their Seyyed identity (in terms of ethnicity) surmounts any "turkomen", "KUrdish", "Greek" blood they have. After all you are what you think you are.


That is a western source

by irandoost on

It is written by a scholar in Leiden university, very prestigious. Plus here is a western source that says the same thing:




Re: Irandoost

by azerbaijani on

That's a very weak argument. Who cares what Sam Mirza wrote, when Shah Ismail wrote nearly 1500 verses in Turkish and only less than 100 in Persian. No one knows Sam Mirza poems, you can't even cite one yourself, while everyone knows poetry of Khatai. I don't care what tons of Iranian sources, brainwashing your kinds since schooldesk, say. Soviet historiography said Safavids were of Azerbaijani origin. Turks say they were Turkish empire. So what?

There are undeniable facts. Safavids were the first in history to build authentically Azerbaijani statehood of Iran, and were masterful to integrate it with Persians to create unified Iranian identity. They did not rely on your Achaemenid, Aryan or Zoroastrian fantasies, which didn't even exist back then already, they used Shia religious identity to achieve that.

And suddenly Shah Ismail became a bad guy? :) Why because, you're being proven that he was a Turk? Actually, a pan-Turkist would repeat the same as you do, that Ismail fought against Turks of Ottoman Empire hence he was bad. But every Azerbaijani considers Shah Ismail as a hero of his nation, truely Azerbaijani statesman.


Re: you need to read

by azerbaijani on

That's the problem, I tend to read Western sources, which frankly don't care whether it's Iranian or Turkish point of view, and hence are impartial. You're so far citing me Iranian source, that's the problem, you don't seem to read anything outside mainstream Iranian position, hence your views are one-sided and unreasonably anti-Turkish.

The reality of today is very different from historical perspective. Ottomans and Safavids are gone, today there are three independent states, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Iran. Instead of finding ways to accuse, threaten and swallow each other, we should mutually respect each other's identity. I don't see that particularly on this site with your hate mongering anti-Turkish speeches.


Not true

by irandoost on

"Azerbaijani is restricted, because publishing in this language is restricted," That is not true. There are a lot of book stores in Tehran that carry Azerbaijani books. If publishing in a language is restricted, it could be only due to political views and not the language itself. For example poetry, literature, stories and etc. are not restricted. But politics is restricted in both Persian, Azeri and any other language.

I wasn't comparing to the US. But in the US, there are 300+ nationalities. So only Hispanics can study some coures. For Dede Qorqod, you can be right. In (Michael E. Meeker, “The
Dede Korkut Ethic”,
Journal of Middle East Studies,
Vol. 24, No. 3 (Aug., 1992), 395-417), it refers to Akkoyunlu era. Then again, we do not see the name Azerbaijan in Dede Korkut. We do see the name Istanbul for example and rom and sham (syria) and some places in the caucus. But Iranian Azerbaijan, nothing is heared of it (no Tabriz, Ardabil etc).

As per Fizuli half of his work is in Persian. He actually considers Turkish to be a vulgar language. Nevertheless, the Nasimi, Khatai, Fizuli language is classical Azeri (heavily Persianized) and it is not understandable for the average Azeri (unless they know Persian). Shah Ismail's Persian verses are mentioned by his son, but we only have 50 of them. Nevertheless, his son has a whole book on Persian poets and their lives. Anyways, the classical Azeri you refer to is currently not the Azeri language spoken. According to Tadeusz Swietochowski, due to the rise of new Azeri in the caucus (and also Russian and pan-Turkist bias against Persian language) new Azeri was developed as a response.

The hold of Persian as the chief literary language in
Azerbaijan was bro­ken, followed by the rejection of classical Azerbaijani, an
artifi­cial, heavily Iranized idiom that had long been in use along with
Persian, though in a secondary position.
This process of cultural change was initially supported by the tsarist
authorities, who were anxious to neutralize the still-wide­spread Azerbaijani
identification with Persia.
In doing so, the Russians resorted to a policy familiar in other parts of the
em­pire, where Lithuanians, for example, were sporadically en­couraged to
emancipate themselves from Polish cultural influences, as were the Latvians
from German and the Finns from Swedish.
( Tadeusz Swietochowski. Russia and Azerbaijan: A Borderland in
Transition. p 29. ISBN: 0231070683)



No pan-Turkists have proved anything about Babak. He is Babak (in all sources), not Babyak.


Now per your other post. First, it should be mentioned that during the Qajar era, Persian was the main literary language of Azerbaijan. Indeed Azeri (either in it's classical or modern form) was not thought.

example in the autobiography of Ayatollah Mohammad Hosayn Tabataba’I, himself
from Tabriz, we

The present
writer, Mohammad Hosayn Tabataba’i was born into a family of scholars in Tabriz in 1271 A.H.
solar/1892 A.D. I lost my mother when I
was five years old, and my father when I was nine. To provide for our support, our gaurdian (the
executor of my father’s estate) placed my one younger brother and myself in the
care of a servant and maidservant.
Shorly after our father’s death, we were sent to primary school, and
then, in time, to secondary school.
Eventually, our schooling was entrusted to a tutor who made home visits;
in this way we studied Farsi and primary subjects for six years”

There was in those days no set program for primary studies. I remember that, over the period from
1290/1911 to 1296/1917, I studied the Noble Qur’an, which normally was taught
before all else, Sa’adi’s Golestan and Bustan, the Illustrated Nesab and
Akhlaq, the Anvar-e Sohayli, the Tarikh-e Mo’jam, the writing of Amir-e-
Nezami, and the Irshad al-Hisab.
” (Allameh Sayyed Mohammad Hosayn
Tabataba’I, “Islamic Teachings an Overview”, Translated by R. Campbell, Printed
and bound in Beirut –Lebanon, Second Prining: 1991)

As you can see Persian and Arabic were thought not Azeri in Iran during the Qajar. The fact is that only in the caucus did Azeri gain momentum. For example, before Rezashah gaining power, the newspapers in Tabriz were "Kaghadh Akhbar", "Waqaye' Ittifaqiyeh", "Rooznameyeh Dowlt Iran", "Rooznaameyeh Melli", Rooznaameyeh Dowlat Iran", "Waqayi' 'Adliyya", "Nezami" , "Morikh", "Sharaf", "Tarbiyyat" and "Tabriz". Not a single one of these was Azeri! On the other hand, in the caucus, the Russians supported Turkish and pan-Turkists nationalist did also. This was to break the connection of the caucus with Persian language (and as you can see classical Azeri also died as a result as well since it was tied to Persian).

Here is a statement from Mohammad Amin Rasulzadeh (before Rezashah) , when he visits Urmia:

سخن از گزارش محمد امین رسولزاده، نخستین رئیس
جمهوری آذربایجان است که می نویسد: « در اینجا [ارومیه]نمی توانید غیر از
چند مشترک حبل المتین روزنامه خوان دیگری پیدا بکنید. روزنامه های ترکی
قفقاز نیز در اینجا خریدار و خواننده ندارند. اصلا در اینجا ترکی خواندن
متداول نیست. اگرچه همه ترک هستند ولی ترکی نمی خوانند. همه جای آذربایجان
چنین است. حتی چنان تیپهائی وجود دارند که این حال را برای قفقاز نیز
پیشنهاد می کنند و خیال می بافند که باید همه عالم اسلام زبان فارسی یاد
بگیرند و به فارسی بخوانند. ... در عرض پانزده روزی که در ارومیه بودم
هرچه جستجو کردم بلکه یک نفر خریدار روزنامه ترکی پیدا کنم ممکن نگردید»

He is saying although virtually everyone in Urmia knows Turkish, not a single person buys a Turkish newspapers from caucus and no one has interested in reading or writing in Turkish.

So let me briefly respond on your question on why there "are more Azeri poets in the caucus than Iran". First how do you know there isn't? Now assuming there was. We should note that Azeri became the literary language of the caucus during the Russian occupation, but Persian remained the literary language of Iranian Azerbaijan. Thus as usual, Azeri's wrote Persian (Parvin 'Etesami, Shahryar, Rahi Mo'ayyari, Iraj Mirza..). The second issue is quality. Azeri writers of Iran, due to influence from Persian literature and also Iran's more cultured and humane atmosphere have written more univerasalist poetry in Iran. For example Hakim Hidazi (Islamic mystic from Zanjan) and Shahryar's poems in Azeri in terms of quality surpass anything that has been produced in the caucus.


Anyways the proposers of modern Iranian nationalism were primarily Azeri (and some of the stuff they said is really due to reaction against Ottomon invasion and Ottomon attempt to spread pan-Turkism) and the main impementor himself, Rezashah, was half Azeri and had a full Azeri wife and Farah was full Azeri. So I think we need to study history more objectively to see why things are the way they are.


As per your claim: "But I don't see how redefining Azeri Turk as Persian is supposed to be better now. ". I never said redifine or define anything. But you run into problems if you define "Azeri" as a "Turk" historicaly. Let me give you an example.


"Azerbaijan, a country which embraced Islam in its very early days and
which remarkably contributed to enriching the Islamic civilization through its
illustrious sons of eminent philosophers, scholars, thinkers, historians and
poets like Nizami and Khaquani, Bakhmanyar, Masud Ibn Namdar and many others."

This is from the minister of the foreign affairs. Note Masud ibn Namdar is a Kurd (he himself attests to it and so does Minorsky). Bahmanyar is an Iranian/Persian Zoroastrian. Khaghani/Nizami are Persian poets and wrote all their work in Persian. (the ethnicity of Nizam is Kurdish from mother's side and probably from mother's side and Khaghani is half christian and half Persian). So basically, you can't say "Azerbaijani" is pure "Turkish" just like you can't say it is pure "Aryan" (as you say what happens to Nasimi). So I think it is a blending of the two with Persian being more dominant in terms of culture, history and Turkish being more dominant in language.



Well you need to read

by irandoost on

This is the second Ottomon invasion during that period not the first.  And the Ottomons arrested even Shaykh Mahmud Khiyabani.  I would read the article:


and try to comprehend facts.



by irandoost on

The Persian book of his son (Sam Mirza) says he also wrote Persian poetry.  Shah Tahmasp wrote Persian poetry.  Shah Ismail tried to weaken the Ghezelbash at every turn.  Also ancestry is through the male lineage.  Either way, tons of sources say Safavids were of Iranian stock, but became Turcophones.  Turcophone does not mean Turk.  Shah Ismail also read the Shahnameh, named his sons after the Shahnameh and dedicated Shahnameh Tahmaspi to his son.  All these points are very important which does not coincide with a "Turkish nationalists".  Besides I do not see what the appeal to Shah Ismail is when he killed so many people because of their faith, but I don't want to know either.


Re: Safavid

by azerbaijani on

Actually their Azerbaijani identity is undebatable, with over thousand lines of Khatai's poetry and the usage of Azeri as a state language. So it's almost a joke, when some "new researches" come up today claiming they were not Azeri, because one of their ancestors several centuries before received land from Kurds in Gilan :) Wow! Now they should be anything but "Turk" :)


Re: Nice

by azerbaijani on

Can you also show what other Azerbaijani poetry was written in Iran during 20th century (mainly Pahlavi rule), besides Shahriyar, and compare that to Azeri literature in Russian Empire/Soviet Union, where the number of Azeris was at least twice less than in Iran. The answer should tell you how Azeris are treated in Iran.


Re: Backward horseshoe

by azerbaijani on

Actually, the definition Persian technically does not exist since the end of Achaemenid rule. The definition is used mostly by Iranian in America, who knows very little of his own history to hide his Iranian identity, because the word "Iran" is not as marketable in America. In addition, Persian sounds cute, carpets, cats, miauu, like Maz Jobrani mocks it: //

So get alive, be proud of being Iranian, but stop mocking yourself as Persian, when you're not one.


Re: Ottoman invasions World War I

by azerbaijani on

This is funny as hell, because Reza Shah actually received help from Ataturk, and Enver pasha before him said clearly that he wants to protect Iran's integrity from British occupation. Iran was a divided puppet of Britain and Russia, with whom Ottomans were fighting. British attacked Ottoman Turks from Iranian territory, so how are you even complaining about Ottoman occupation?


Re: please

by azerbaijani on

Azerbaijani is restricted, because publishing in this language is restricted, education in it is now allowed. In U.S., Hispanic is allowed to study in Spanish school, and even Armenian can go to his own school. This has nothing to do with official language. Azeri in Iran is not accorded the same right, moreover, being renamed from Turk to Aryan and as we can see in some cases, even becomes now Persian. Azeri literature in Iran has been stagnant for the past century due to this, and the result is loss of literary language.

Dada Korkut is really more Ottomon but nevertheless Nasimi, Fuzuli, wrote a large portion of their work in Persian."

Dada Korkut actually developed during Akkoyunlu which had more to do with Azerbaijan than Ottomans. Somehow you ignored Koroglu :) As for Nasimi, Fizuli, and Khatai, most significant poetry of those was in Azerbaijani, not in Persian. Can you show what was most significant work of Shah Ismail Khatai in Persian?

If Pan-Turkist can prove Babak was Bay-bak, then argue with them and prove otherwise. But I don't see how redefining Azeri Turk as Persian is supposed to be better now. Yes, the area was Turkified, Persianified, Mongolified or Russified so what? It matters how people there define themselves - Azeri Turks. Just because you don't like this name, does not mean millions of people should change their background, culture or language now.


Shia vs Aryanist

by azerbaijani on

Reading some of the Aryanist speeches here, trying to identify every Iranian citizen with this race, I think Iran is better off remaining IRI. At least in religious statehood, there is no division along races and imposition of identity to someone else.

As far as we know Aryans originated in Arya (present-day Tajikistan/Afghanistan), and then moved into what's now Iran. So did Central Asian Turks move into the area starting 9th century. Why should people now be considered only Aryan and not Turkic?


Re: Mr. Madadi if you don't have time to respond

by azerbaijani on

Manesh, more power to you in considering yourself 100% Persian/Iranian. Why don't you just call ourself Persian then, because majority of Azeris of Iran are Turks. And there is nothing wrong in this, people can be Persian, Turk, Kurd as long as they all live and love Iran, they're Iranian. So why create conflict, pose, insult or deny someone's identity?



by irandoost on

You call anyone that disagrees with you "uneducated". By the way this was from one your articles: "Presently a Shia state (Aryanism being given up in 1979, about 34 years
overdue) which spent all its religious vigour during the Iraq-Iran war.
And the sad (or funny) side was that Iran was fighting mostly Shia
fighters of Iraq in the name of Shia Islam."

Okay so I don't understand is Iran a Shia state or Aryanist State. Also why is 90% of your stuff is really against Persians? Don't you think it will cause negative reaction?



Also Mr. Educated what is 2007-1979?


Somewhat one-sided.

by irandoost on

Okay, this article is okay, written (by another PhD who I know from another weksite ) but it is definitely
one-sided. Politics as they say in
Persian does not have a father or mother.
So there are a multitude of tricks and trades that the average citizen
does not know about the occurrences that are behind the scenes. This being the
case in this blog among all users who do not know. So one has to guess to see why the
relationship was sour (although now it is better).

We want to know first of all if Iran
is neutral, does that mean that is supports Armenia? For example Iran has a good trade with Nakhchivan
and the rest of Azerbaijani republic. I
believe Iran supplies some
essential needs (including energy) to Nakhchivan (as well as Armenia). The best decision for Iran is simply
to see a peaceful outcome and not get involved.
We must keep in mind that any
sort of ethnic conflict, including that of Nagorno-Karabagh is extremely bad
for Iran. Any sort of peripheral ethnic conflict can
easily spill over to neighboring regions in the Middle
East. So ultimately it is
in IRI’s interested not to have a conflict.
Given that some Azeri Iranians like Ben though feel Iran should support the republic
of Azerbaijan, some of the point you
made (as a political person of the republic
of Azerbaijan) need a revaluation. In any conflict, at least 99%, usually both
sides are at fault. It would be almost
unimaginable to portray two governments (governments being corrupt by nature)
as Jesus vs Satan.

So lets start from point 7. (not
numbered). Pan-Iranism is not a policy
of IRI. This is not something anyone can
disagree with. The leaders of
pan-Iranist parties have been jailed, tortured and etc. So that point is non-factor. So is discussion on history, for example
there was a debate between a Kyrghiz and Kazakh newspaper weather Ferdowsi is
Kyrghiz or Kazakh. (No kidding). But such things are not really factors or at
least important ones in relationship of two governments.

Now rewind to point 1. The USSR supported Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war (The
Mullahs were stupid for antagonizing both super-powers, but there was enough
martyrs and good people to save the country). The USSR was also afraid of Islamic fundamentalism. The USSR in 1946 tried to actively
separate Iranian Azerbaijan and continuing Iranian governments had this aspect
in mind. So why start in the 1980’s and
not 1946? Let me bring some statements from Heydar Aliyev
from 1983. “Azerbaijanis in the USSR have reached a great stage of development
while the people of Azerbaijan have been kept back” “Personally I hope to see
the two Azerbaijan’s united” (Richard Owen, Rise of the Southern Republics, Moscow
goes a-courting in Muslim Caucasia, The Times, London, Nov 29, 1982, pg 6. Based on translation by Jalal Matini in
Iranshenasi magazine, a source that is reliable and academic but nevertheless
if anyone has this source send it to me as well.). Such sentiments were common in USSR
Azerbaijan. There are a good amount of
sources that says USSR
supported irredentist policies with regards to Iranian Azerbaijan in this era
(google books). The relationship between
Iran and USSR (and all
the SSR countries) was extremely cold. IRI
executed all the communists it got its hands on and destroyed the soviet backed
Tudeh party. If anything, Islamic fundamentalist
were much more against communists than the secularists of the West (Turkey
included). Anyways, this point is a
non-factor and null given that Iran
had a good relationship with ayaz mutalibov.
(Check google books Iran Mutalibov).
So we can not go back to a period that relationship was cold and must
start analyzing the poor relationship at a point that it went sour after it was

Point 2. This seems like a
non-factor. I am not sure when Iran recognized Armenia,
Turkomanistan, Tajikistan,
Azerbaijan, Georgia. But I do not think there was any bad intention
with this regard. Probably there was a
fear of consolidation again of USSR
and Iran wanted to take it’s
time and to make sure that the beast is gone (of course Russia is back
now and is the super-power of the region and stronger than Iran/Turkey combined). Iran
did after-all recognize the republic
of Azerbaijan. We need a time-line of all the USSR countries and when they were recognized by Iran and see if “Azerbaijan” was singled out and in
the case it was singled-out, we need to find out why? (Perhaps Iran thought the Golestan/Turkmenchay is invalid
or perhaps wanted to wait and see if people there wanted to join Iran. So the intention needs to be clarified as
well if the time-line of the recognition of “Azerbaijan”
differed considerably from Iran’s
recognition of other countries). So I
think point 2 is a non-factor.

Point 3 is now where the whole analysis should start. The reason is simple. If Iran had good relationships with
Mutalibov and then it went sour with Elchibey and then it was somewhat restored
during the Aliev era (and now the relationship is probably the best it has been
since the era of Elchibey) , this is the era that needs discussion. Plus this is when independent Azerbaijan starts anyway and anything to do with
is simply deleted and erase. Although
Heydar Aliev’s comment in 1982, if true, is important and if IRI was aware of
this comment, they were probably very cautious ands omewhat cold. Now it is true Iran
did not pressure Armenia
in anyway, but at the time of Ayaz Mutalibov, there was strong nationalist
parties that had NW on their agenda. I agree Iran
did not help Azerbaijan.
But it did not help Armenia
either. Where-as Iran’s interest solely
lied in minimizing any ethnic conflicts as well as reducing separatist
sentiments produced by some pan-Turkist parties (like that of Elchibey) and some
newspaper, Turkey probably wanted
Armenia to lose and Russia probably wanted Armenia to win. Iran, just had came out from it’s
own devastating 8 year war which ruined the economy and military. Russia
was also not going to let Iran
become a power-broker. So I guess you
agree that “this was during the very friendly president Mutalibov”. The relationship was friendly despite Iran being
neutral. So this is the point really to
examine what went wrong.

Point 4, Okay but if Iran
closed it’s borders, then it is taking sides.
Iran also had it’s
border open with Azerbaijan
and Nakhchivan. Now this quote is from US library of

“At the same time, Iran
was conducting military maneuvers near the Nakhichevan
Autonomous Republic
in a move widely regarded as a warning to Armenia. Iran proposed creation of a
twenty-kilometer security zone along the Iranian-Azerbaijani border, where Azerbaijanis
would be protected by Iranian firepower. Iran
also contributed to the upkeep of camps in southwestern Azerbaijan to
house and feed up to 200,000 Azerbaijanis fleeing the fighting.”


Also Turkey
closed it’s borders, but did not do anything practical in terms of
military. The only country that made the
serious moves was Russia. Elchibey also alienated Russia and this
was not smart move.

5) That is true, the massacres of WWI
are not researched well. But the
Christians involved were Assyrians.
Actually many of the names of towns are Assyrians like Salman and
Urmiyeh (which was almost 50% Assyrian before WWI). The areas of Assyrians were later on taken by
Kurds. Of course Assyrians wanted a
greater Assyrian, but Simko (who himself was a bandit) killed their leaders
which started a Muslim-Christian warfare.
But the Armenian genocide as far as I know has lately been confined to
the Armenian quarters. Also they are
protests against the government of Turkey. I believe these sort of memorials are
silly. For example many Iranians were
killed by Chenghiz Khan. Or even the
Qajars took out 30,000 eyeballs in Kerman. Now if you had Azeris/Assyrians (citizens of
the country) having day where they remember the massacare of Simko (who Kurds
admire) and then Kurds having one for say Assyrians(or say all of those Christians
were Armenians), such actions do not help the national unity of the
country. In this case, we do not have
any citizens of Turkey,
so it is reasonable since it is protest by Armenians against a foreign
country. But if there was such
commemorations from Armenians against Azeris and Azeris against Armenians and
Kurds against Assyrians and Assyrians against Kurds, it would just create
ethnic nightmares. The era of WWI (bad
Christian-Muslim Azeri/Kurd/Assyrian/Armenian warfare) in my opinion should not
even be researched at this time, let alone remembered (each side just
remembering their own victims) as it will just simply cause more disunity

6) Okay you examined post-Elchibey
statements. But did not mention anything about Elchibey
statements. “Iran
is just as much heterogeneous empire as Russia and is thus doomed to fall
apart”(google books). “On several
occasions, he blasted Iran
as a doomed state and predicted that within five years Azerbaijan
would be reunited”(google books). I think these statements are really declaration
of war. For example, “The road through
Karabagh runs through Tabriz”. That is not really smart statement to
make. So I am not sure IRI helped
Armenia or not (although by keeping it’s border open which I interpret actually
as a neutral posture, Armenia survived and owes IRI big time), but these
statements will ensure that Azerbaijani governments hand are not 100% clean
with regards to the sour relationship.

Now this the era that needs to be examined.
Simply because things were fine between Iran and Mutalibov and then went sour with Elchibey. Given that Elchibey had his pan-Turkists
ideas way before Mutalibov, the blame in my opinion lies on Elchibey’s
shoulder. He could have for example
disassociated himself from all the pan-Turkists statements he made before he
was president. The man was simply
irresponsible. While young Azerbaijanis
were fighting in Karabagh, he as a leader made enemies with Russia and Iran. It is one thing if he was in the battle field
himself and taking part in it. But it is
another thing to sit in a presidential council and pursue some sort of

7) There are more important factors as well like the disputed Caspian sea division (which sort of mans Iran has a territorial conflict with the republic of Azerbaijan where as it has none with Armenia), or Iran
being kicked out of consortium due to US pressure and etc. Also the Psychological factor of Iran-Iraq war is important. In 1980, Iraq invaded Khuzestan and tried to promote separatist Arab testiments and detach Khuzestan from Iran. Some of Saddam's statements are no different with regards to Khuzestan to what we hear about the detachment from Azerbaijan from some politicans/political parties. Infact Elchibey's attitude towards Iranian Azerbaijan was like Saddam's attitude towards Khuzestan. Given the 8 year war, and that NK war started only 3 years after that, this is strong psychological factor that IRI had to keep in mind. If Elchibey/Mutalivoc/Aliyev wee smart, they
would have held a different viewpoint towards Iran. But instead, it seems they created enough
panic in IRI (Elchibey deliberately) about ethnic separatism that IRI chose a
neutral posture (which by keeping it’s border open with Armenia
saved Armenia’s
tails). Also IRI was anything but
wealthy three years after the Iran-Iraq war when the infrastructure of the
country remained in ruins. IRI now looks
in a better position due to US mistakes in Iraq, Hezbollah’s stalemate with
Israel(which is considered a victory), t he general decline in the US economy
and US mistake in Afghanistan as well as the general tide of rising Islamic
fundamentalism (even in Turkey). But IRI was extremely weak after the
Iran-Iraq war. Who knows what the future
holds? Maybe it will be better. But I think to blame the sour
relationship 100% on IRI or not to understand IRI’s concern about Elchibey’s
statement is really not an objective analysis. Of coursse when citizens of a country make analysis, they will naturally
take sides, but objective analysis by anyone will say that Elchibey did not display diplomatic tact either.