Myths of Separatism

A primary type of mass paranoia


Myths of Separatism
by Ben Madadi

The most recent case of state separation has been that of Kosovo. I saw Serbs come to the streets and protest. It was quite interesting. Serbs were badly humbled and humiliated. They protested, burnt this and that, threw some cocktail molotovs at the US embassy, did a few other things expressing their frustration, cooled down, went home, end of story! They were like football fans, really devoted ones, who were very angry that their team had been humiliated. Then again, they poured some anger, caused damage to some property, cooled down, went home, and, end of story. Just like in football.

Many of our fellow Iranians ALSO fear separatism. They truly fear it and they act just like football fans, though their activities have so far been limited to talks and writings. An anonymous commentator in my previous article made a link to a video, and I clicked to watch it. I am sorry that I cannot call the guy on the video an idiot because (beside being also sorry for having used the word) I would be insulting idiots. Anyway, watching that video, and also many writings and talks on the Internet, I started to think that actually many Iranians have genuine fear that Iranian regions may some day separate from the rest (whatever would remain) of Iran. So, let's analyse the realities and see what is at stake beside football-like hooliganism and emotional wasteland.

Let's actually watch this guy's video! He receives a phone call and the two of them almost have virtual orgasm as they so much agree with each other that all of Iran's current and past problems is because of the same Turks who now say that they are unhappy and they feel "oppressed". I don't know this person. His interpretations are not just insensitive, hateful and divisive, but also terribly one-sided, and wrong from all points of view for any reasonable person. I wish not to go into detail on this as it would become too long, and too far from the scope of this article.

What is all the fuss about separatism and so much 'fear' or maybe 'joy' about its prospects! Let's look at the realities today! Do you really feel that any country would want to separate Iran's Azerbaijan, Kurdistan, or Baluchistan from the rest? This is nothing but a primary type of mass paranoia inflicted upon us because of our school-era education based on pure prejudice and propaganda. First of all, all Iranian regions except for the south-east, especially Khuzestan, are worthless. You think they have industry? The whole of Iran lacks any beneficial, serious, or productive industry. Iran is a bankrupt country run on crude oil, PERIOD.

Tell me this, would Iran ever take over Afghanistan? Iran would not want to annex Afghanistan even if the Americans paid the Iranian regime $100 billion! Would Republic of Azerbaijan want Iranian Azerbaijan? Or would Turkey? They wouldn't take it if it was made a gift. They wouldn't take it if you begged them, believe me! Why would they want to unite with Iranian Azerbaijan? I am sure there are naive football-fan-like nationalists on all sides of borders, but their rulers are more concerned about their own affairs rather than hot air and empty dreams.

The days when peoples constituted subjects, and the more subjects you had the better, are long gone. Nowadays even a semi-tyrannic regime like that of Iran does not view its citizens as subjects who can go hungry. Even Iran's mullahs know that they need to feed their citizens so they do not revolt. And the more citizens you have in a backward and oil-dependant country like Iran the worse! And of course the rulers know it. They keep the checks-and-balances. They don't just talk. It would have been another matter in case the situation was different and everything was rosy and people were employed and rich. But no, the only precious Iranian land worth having some fight over is Khuzestan. And we have already had the fight over it where almost one million people died. The rest of Iran? Not worth a penny for any foreigner! Not only that Iran's neighbouring countries, or even other countries, would not wish to take over any of Iran's regions, they wouldn't even really be interested in seeing any of those regions separated on their own.

Any Iranian region, again except for Khuzestan, which would separate from Iran would run a very high risk of starvation, pretty much similar to the case of Afghanistan and Tajikistan. The only relatively acceptable and functional sectors of industry, commerce or any sort of other activities making significant revenues for Iranians are based on state subsidy. All these subsidies rely on the oil revenue and the oil revenue comes from the south-east. Iranian regions would undergo real catastrophe if they were cut off various state subsidies. Gasoline is subsidised. Bread is subsidised. A huge proportion of Iranians work for the government and all their incomes are directly linked to the oil revenue. Most infrustructure activites depend on the oil revenue. Electricity, heating, and many other important sectors run on state subsidies. All these subsidies are decided in Tehran. Any Iranian region that would be cut off those subsidies (resulted from the oil sold to foreigners) would face a terrible and immediate crisis. The situation would improve in time, but that 'time' may be too late. And Iran's neighbouring countries would not really want to be surrounded by small states full of starving people. That would reduce commerce and increase instability.

What would happen to what would remain of Iran if we separated Azerbaijan, Kurdistan, and let's say, Baluchistan? At least theoretically speaking, more prosperity for the remaining part! Practically speaking it would mean humanitarian catastrophe for all Iranians because families would be separated for no real reason. In case such a scenario took place and the Iranian central government would no longer need to spend the oil money to subsidise various public matters in Azerbaijan, Kurdistan and Baluchistan, there would be more money left to be spent for the rest of Iran, right? Yes! So, Tehran, Isfahan, Mashhad, Shiraz, Kerman and so on would be much better off, theoretically.

National pride is not exactly my favourite subject, but I can assure all our 'concerned' Iranians that nobody wants any piece, or inch, of Iran because they are not stupid enough for that! And if there are people inside Iran who ARE stupid enough to want separation from the central reservoir, in case you are an Iranian from more central areas of Iran, you may as well pray that their numbers would rise and they would get what they want! Just kidding! No, Iran needs unity because we all care for each other and because we ought to stride toward freedom and human rights rather than empty dreams.

Which is actually the most oppressed area of Iran? I think it is Khuzestan. Because Khuzestan is where most of the revenue comes from, and it is later spent according to the wishes and desires of the central authority. No Iranian region is run well because the whole system is in shambles and most of the revenue is wasted. And this indeed antagonises Iranians of various backgrounds, especially those who feel they are not treated like equals. And please folks, don't confuse legitimate rights and desires with stupid and ridiculous ideas!


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Anonymous 2008 and Ben

by To Fatollah and human being (not verified) on

By the way, Fatollah, please translate this in Azeri for "human being". It is from their great poet, Nizami:

"Turki sefate vafaye ma nist/Turkane sokhan sezaye ma nist
an kaz nasabe boland zayad/u ra sokhan boland bayad"

Who are you fooling, fellows?! And who are you fooling, Ben?! Even if all Iran is a barren , it has values geopolitically very much, and Azerbaijan of Iran is one of the most fertile lands of Iran. If it didn't have values it was not claimed by Soviets, Soviets+Pishevari, Aliyev and Elchybi, PanTurks, etc. and some ordinary nationals of Azerbaijan republic who are proud of their blonde-haired and blue-eyed ancestors:


You want this land, don't you? I think the glory of Iran is open and evident. It is glorious as I think mentioning a few examples are enough: Babak, Nizami and wholly Iranian/Persian culture of (Iranian) Safavids.

The point that we shouldn't take pride on Iran ineffectually, while we are wretched now, is another matter that I agree with you. But Iran and Iranian history/culture/literature are all glorious. Ben, you cannot see it since I think you don't feel Iranian anymore in your heart.

Funny little game you are playing Ben. And I know you are even happy about this comment of mine.


Anonymous 2008 and Ben

by To Fatollah and human being (not verified) on

Actually Tats (Persian speakers of Azerbaijan) are ridiculed by some Azeris in Azerbaijan of Iran as "bi-orze" (incapable) in doing business and alike. Some Tabrizis make jokes about the people around Kalaybar (Azeri themselves). Some Tabrizis are fierce enemies of some Ardabilis and vice versa, Panturks call Persian speakers "Sag" (dog), ... Do you want more or those are enough?! I know a little Azeri Turkish, In several occasions I tried to use it in Azerbaijan of Iran. Of course I have accent, because it is not my mother tongue. After a while I stopped talking in Azeri, because I couldn't tolerate laughs. Go tour around Azerbaijan!

Ben Madadi

Re: A.D.

by Ben Madadi on

My dearest A.D. (I am not writing it this time because that's your identity but I recognised you because of your so much 'interest' in R Azerbaijan),

1) I have two huge questions from you. One, how has my writing improved? I always try to improve my writing. Do you? :) If my writign has improved and you acknowledge it I am very pleased. If I have not noticed an improvement in your writing I hope you will forgive me. The other is that I asked if you (or any opposing view) would like to have a DEBATE (not your own article, that's up to you) about all this with me (we can do with e-mail) and publish it here. There are lots of quality stuff on this website, maybe you consider mine as junk (I don't mind at all, believe me) but please contribute to your own community and make it better! Because this comments section is not the best place for discussion, especially that a lot time is wasted for too few readers. You do not want to have a debate with me because you believe that I am not knowledgebale enough and I mix too many issues? Well, this would make it easier for you to have an upper hand, right? Show your superior knowledge and writing abilities to your fellow Iranian readers! Please give answers :)

2) I DON'T mention MANY MANY things because I do not have enough space. I am not writing theses, I am writing op-ed my friend. I write anything I want, not what you want :)

3) For dicussig the rest I propose to discuss them in e-mail exchanges and publish them. Would that be okay with you? You seem to have plenty of time. Can you please honour me? Can anybody else, slightly more or less knowledgebale than you? Thanks!


Dear Ben My top priority

by Anonymous1234 (not verified) on

Dear Ben

My top priority right now is to see there is not a war with Iran. But as per writing, I do not like to write articles on the issue, although I can make comments when ever I want. Also I Simply do not think you have done enough reading to discuss the issue and you mix too many issues. But intimidating? ;) no way.

Now let point to your last. For example what State propaganda by the way? None of the comments here are similar to any comments by IRI. Mr. Ara Serjoie made an excellent comment and that is my general observation about the republic of Azerbaijan. Was that state propaganda? Why would I want to have a duologue with a guy who does not acknowledge the heavy foreign investment on this issue?

Although I will admit your writing is getting better since 6 months ago. But still, it needs work. For example note how you did not mention any foreign interference here, or no mention of 1946 and etc. So seems to be a place where QahvehKhaneh level analysis is done. I am proud that in Iran, Armenians and Muslims get alone, but over in the Caucus, they tried to ethnic cleanse each other out. How come Armenians do not have problems with Muslims in Iran, but they were ethnic cleansed in Turkey? Same with Greeks, 350,000 were ethnically cleansed by Turks. I almost laugh when Turks from the republic of Azerbaijan or Turkey want to give us advise on human rights. I just have to look at this video:

where they intentionally destroy ancient Armenian monuments. Unfortunately, they are trying to spread the same sickness/hatred (Fars-Rus-Armani Butun Turk Dushmani as they say) to Iranian Azeris. But I think the bulk of Iranian Azeris are too smart for them (or at least I pray so). It will not work, but it will force Iran (once it makes up with the West) to align itself with Armenia, Greece and the rest of the countries who are against pan-Turanist expansionism. Note I do not want this occur, but it seems that they are pushing Iran this way.

As an Iranian whose family goes back to Mazandaran/Kermanshah (both with their own peculiar Iranian languages), I have never felt discrimination and I am proud to be called Iranian/Persian. There is discrimination against religious minorities in Iran, but discrimination against Shi'i Azeris does not exist and most of the Azeris that make such remarks are the same ones that say UNESCO said Turkish is 3rd grammatically powerful language, Turkish is Elamite/Urartu/Sumerian, Grey wolf is our symbol, Babak was a Turk, Nizami was forced to write Persian and etc. Bunch of people that are going through some sort of identity phase and could cause themselves and others trouble.

The only excuse I have heard (the economic/development ones are nonsense when one compares it to most regions of Iran (and many Persian speaking regions like Bushehr, Sistan, South Khorasan, Kerman,)., is that Turkish is not thought at primary level from government funds.

Well Turkish was never thought in Iran and it was never standardized. Only nationalist efforts beyond Iran standardized it. Was it thought in Qajar times on massive scale? No. And there is no hindrance for anyone to learn it and publish in it, write poems and songs in it, record music in it and even write pan-Turkist version of history where Turks are Elamites!

Education is an administrative decision and many countries teach one official language. It is funny when I ask people in the republic of Azerbaijan who make an issue at this and they say Talysh, Lezgis and etc. are too little (based on a biased official census). As if it matters how big or little the population is. The Qajar already started teaching only Persian throughout the country before the Pahlavids took over. Now I proposed simple questions. Do you believe schools in Iran should be segregated based on background? And is there need to teach mathematics, history, geography, home-ed, mechanics, and the courses in Iran from 1-12 in Azeri? What about universities, should they be segregated? I have no problem with teaching courses in Turkish writing/literature, but Turkish is acquired through the environment in Iran and one can easily learn the modern standard (whose history is really no more than 100-150 years like that of Turkey) through minor effort, since they know the language already. So those that talk about education never give specifics/details, but only use it as an excuse to claim discrimination. For example I propose any place there is a group of Azeris (say even Bushehr which there could only 10 families), and there is a demand from them, the government should fund teaching Turkish (of course they have a duty to learn the national language) literature/writing. Much like what Mr. Yavari (an Azeri) has proposed:

I believe it is important that Persian is thought in Azerbaijan, since Turkish is already acquired through the environment and someone like Shahriyar for example had no problem writing a masterpiece like Heydarbaba. All Azeris in Tabriz, Urmia..know the language as they have acquired it from their parents. The level of noise and cries made by pan-Turkist groups (many of them former leftists/internationalists now transformed into Grey Wolf Fascists) overwhelms the news of actual discrimination against Sunnis and Bahais. There is a sinister game played by Turkey/Republic of Azerbaijan due to the bad relationship of Iran and the West (they are taking advantage of it) and at its forefront where people like Brenda Shaffer and other Israeli agents. So I definitely see a big foreign hand in all of this. And it is not in the long term interest of say the republic of Azerbaijan to support it, since Turks in the region have enough nemesis: Armenians, Greeks, Russians and it is not a good idea to add 50-70 million Iranic speakers to this.

There is a lot of irredentist tendencies promoted in the tiny republic of Azerbaijan as Mr. Ara Serjoie has just pointed out. That is unacceptable and it will also get rid of any legitimacy they have (according to international law) in NK issue for the majority of Iranians.

And lets accept facts, part of the phobia against Turkish was due to pan-Turkism during WWI:
(without reading this article, one can not really do analysis on the issue). Most of those that had a phobia against Turkish where Azeris giving their reaction to pan-Turkism espoused by Ottomans. They were really attached to Iran. So without admitting these simple facts, your analysis has flaws.

Also at least thanks for being logical on the numbers cause recently one pan-Turk publication put it at 45 million. Then they interviewed a Baluch a guy who said 1/3 of Iran is Sunni. I believe the statistics I gave based on provincial statistics (12 million max) is closest to reality. But 30 or 25 and now 45 are just ridicolous.

Ben Madadi

Re: Ganja'li

by Ben Madadi on

Dear Ganja'li,

I am much more sorry than you to have the conditions we have for our non-Persian Iranians that we do. As you can see ignorance is not an easy target for me, but little by little there will be results :) When you look at comments under my writings you will almost see state propaganda defending non-democratic reules by various justifications. That is okay. Nothing worthy can be achieved easily.

Anyway, but let's not be trapped by an opposing ignorance by our own beliefs and actions, if we are trying to fight ignorance! Iran does not have 25-30 million Azeri Turk population. Promoting this idea is not a good idea, especially for the cause you think you are doing it. Something else is that West Azerbaijan province has a significant Kurd population. A population that has historically fared much worse than many other Iranians! Relatively true Azeri population of Iran is about 20-25% and that from a population of 70 million would make a total of around 15-18 million, never 25-30 million! This population of 15-18 million also includes minority Azeri population who live outside Azerbaijan (assuming an areas that is majority Azeri). There is no use in saying the opposite.

Ben Madadi


by Ben Madadi on

Dear Dariush,

They are always "wasting" their time here. Those who do are less intelligent now? Maybe! If you say so :)


Okay, maybe we discuss them on Keyhan newspaper ;) Where do you think is the right place?


To Ganjali Again the census

by Anonymous1234 (not verified) on

To Ganjali

Again the census from the republic of Azerbaijan is not valid and experts have mentioned this. Also I believe you are pan-Turkist nationalists since you gave me the label "Persian nationalist" and you think Azeri should be official in Iran! I am actually from another Iranic group but okay no problem.

There is no need to repeat it.
"According to Svante. E. Cornell: Whereas officially the number of Lezgins registered as such is around 180,000, the Lezgins claim that the number of Lezgins registered as Azerbaijani is many times higher than this figure, some accounts showing over 700,000 Lezgins in Azerbaijan. These figures are denied by the Azerbaijani government but in private many Azeris acknowledge the fact that Lezgins- for that matter Talysh or the Tat population of Azerbaijan is far higher than the official figure."
(Svante E. Cornell. Small Nations and Great Powers. Routledge (UK), Jan 1, 2001, ISBN 0-7007-1162-7, pg 269)

The RFEL news I pointed to shows the number of Lezgins is under counted:


Iran has university level courses in Azeri but there is none in Talyshi in any republic of Azerbaijan university. Plus Talyshi (Iranian languages) and Lezgi (Caucasian Albanian languages) pre-date Turkish by two centures. Iran has basically 24 hour state t.v. and broadcast in Azeri in the provinces, how many radio and t.v. stations have Lezgi, Talyshi or Armenian in the republic of Azerbaijan?

As per language classes, OSCE tells a different picture. They are inadequate and almost not present in most Talysh areas:
And I also quote:
"Historical suppression of identity and inability to promulgate ‘culture’/language led to an internalised self-repression."
As per Iran, I am sorry you do not know anything about its demography!

Again the population of Talysh in 1926 was 77,000 and the Azeri-Turkic had a population of 1 to 1.5 million then (1241758 according to Professor. Gregorian based on USSR census which even initially cut down the Talysh population):
// )
How could the population of Talysh be the same according to official census today in 2007? The count of Lezgis is at least 109,332 , so naturally it should be six times also not 178,000 in 1999. While that of Azeris has increased six times according to the same census? So there is definitely an undercutting. Even Humbatov and several other people who lead the Talysh-Mughan movement had "Azeri" instead of Talysh on their card.

Also Babak Khorramdin was not a Turk, but in Iran, pan-Turkic magazines can easily say he was Turk and no one cares or bothers them. On the other hand, when Talysh guy claims them as Talysh, he is arrested for big insult:
(along with Nizami who was at least half Kurd and only wrote in Persian). So the level of tolerance in Iran is much higher with regards to ethnic minorities. It is fact that Iran makes up with the west, it will be a big nightmare for pan-Turanism (Turan by the way is an Iranian term and ethnic group).

Now per the population statistics in Iran.
You said:
" East Azerbaijan, West Azerbaijan, Ardabil and Zanjan fully populated by Azeris"

That is not true, and anyone that knows Iran, will tell you West Azerbaijan is half Kurdish. You won't find any Azeris say in Mahabad, Sardasht, Ashnawiyah, Piranshahr ..all in Western Azerbaijan. Actually, some estimates put the number of Kurds as 2/3 and according to one census, the average Kurdish family there has 4.5 kids while the national Iranian average is way below that. Either way, let me say it is one half.


In fact, even Urmia, the capital has Kurdish villages on all four sides and is large part Kurdish.

Then you said:
"According to you, only ca. 6.5 million of population is Azeri. Are you joking??"

No I am not joking.
(this is the actual census done in Iran which does not factor ethnicity, but it gives accurate province populations)
Do the math:
(note now I counted 1/2 of west azerbaijan)
You will get 7.2 million people. About 10% of Iran's population.

Despite the fact that Ardabil. Zanjan, East Azerbaijan have a large Tati population (at least 100,000 in East Azerbaijan), I counted all these as Azeris and half of West Azerbaijan as Azeri (although there are more Kurds in that province).

"other hand, number of
provinces such as Gilan, Hamadan, Gazvin, Erak"

Gilan is 90% Gilak/Talysh. Hamadan city is Persian, and the three most populated cities after that Malayer, Nahavand, Towiskaran are Lur/Lak/Persian. So lets say 20% Azeri in Hamadan. Qazvin city is also Persian speaking and has many Tati villages. Arak is mainly Persian (even Khomeini was from there), but there are Turkish villages (Shahsevan) in and around Saveh. So based on the provincial statistics, you will not get more than 1 million in Qazvin, Hamadan, Arak, Gilan and Azeris are small minorities in these four provinces.

Finally as per Tehran,you said:
"greater Tehran with its large suburbs partly populated by Azeris."
But Tehran is a melting pot and Persian is the common/dominant language and 2nd generation Tehranis just speak Persian besides the fact that Azeris there mingle with other Iranians. I have seen figures frm 1/3 to 1/6 Azeri, but most of these speak Persian. Anyhow even going with 1/3 (which is a very high estimate), you will get 12 million Azeris in Iran upperlimit.

Qashqais in Shiraz and Fars, are not Azeris but the number of migratory Qashqais according to the latest statistics is 300,000. There also settled Qashqais, but they leave in a predominant Persian environment.

As per Northern Khorasan, there is a Turkmen/Turkic population there, but the total population of northern Khorasan is 811,572 and actually Kurds form a large portion of that population, if not majority.

So as you can see the Turkic population (Turkmen, Qashqai, Khorasani Turkic, Azeri) based on reasonable provincial statistics is 20% (and counting approximately 4 million in Tehran although it is not this much and most of them don't speak Turkic languages and have intermingled with other Tehranis).

Also besides 20% Turkic speaking, there is 25% Iranic speaking (Talysh, Kurds, Shomalis, Lurs, Larestanis..) who with the exception of Sunni Baluch/Sunni Kurd are also well integrated and 50% Persian.

So sorry, but 20% of the population can not tell us what the official language of Iran should be. All this is part of Turkic expansionism although we know historically Azerbaijan was not Turkic speaking. It is now, and I have no problem with that. But there is no way in hell Turkish will be one of the official languages of Iran and Iran has historically been an Iranian land. Why don't you ask Turkey with its large Kurdish population (who predate Turks for at least 1000-2000 years) to make Kurdish official instead? After all they are more native.


Baku was actually Persian

by Anonymous1234 (not verified) on

Baku was actually Persian speaking up to 150 years ago. You can read Bakikhanov's Golestan Aram. As per
percentages, approximately 10% of Azerbaijan and 30% of Turkey are Iranic speaking. And 15% of Iran Turkic. And there is statistics from 1890, Iran's population was 6 million and 1 million (15%) are counted as Tatars. But the assimilation process in the Caucus targeted minority groups like Kurds, Lezgis, and Talysh.

So that now that their number is "reduced" (although there is no unofficial census), you guys want to deny them education from 1-12 in their own language. So how about the 200,000 Armenians of Karabagh. If they agree , are they going to have to education from 1-12 in Armenian or they won't because they are less 2-3% here? I smell hypocrisy here. Pan-Turkists nationalists want Iran to teach from 1-12 in Turkish for Azeri regions, but they won't do the same for Kurds, Talysh, Lezgis in their own country and make all sorts of excuses.

About Baku being predominately Tat (Persian) speaking 160 years ago, please see this:

It is a primary source.

Most of the the big and historical cities like Ganja, Baku, Darband, Shervan, Barda' have Middle Persian roots.

To Ben,
These issues should be discussed but is not the appropriate forum.


To Anonymous1234

by Ganja'li (not verified) on

I’m from Azerbaijan Republic. Let us compare demography of Azerbaijan Republic and Iran first, according to those dates that you presented and then I will bring to your attention Azeri Turks problem in Iran. Of course it will be different than your ‘Persian jokes’.


Population of the Republic of Azerbaijan is 8.7 million. During Bolshevik (Russian) invasion in 1920, it was around 2.6 million. After invasion Russians slaughtered more that 60 thousands Azeri, mostly educated (upper class) part of population. Then in 1930’s hundreds of thousands Azeri been killed and send to Siberia by Stalin and his local henchmen. In early 1940’s circa 700 thousand Azeri conscripted to the ranks of Soviet Army and fought in the battlegrounds of WWII. 400 thousands of these 700 000 never returned to the Republic of Azerbaijan. Well, in early 1950’s population of Azerbaijan was just over 3 million.

You have to remember that Lezgins, Talishs, and Kurds suffered in same proportion. Well, 800 000 Talish and another 800 000 Lesgin, are nothing else but absurd. If we take an account Lezgin and Talish, who emigrated from Azerbaijan and largely living in Russia, then official data: 80 000 Talish and circa 180 000 Lezgin are correct. And,

There are language classes in primary schools for the minorities in the Republic of Azerbaijan (Lezgi, Talish and Kurds)!


According to you, only ca. 6.5 million of population is Azeri. Are you joking?? I do believe that you are a typical Persian nationalist. Let me remain you that in the fist hand following provinces of Iran; East Azerbaijan, West Azerbaijan, Ardabil and Zanjan fully populated by Azeris, and in the other hand, number of provinces such as Gilan, Hamadan, Gazvin, Erak, and moreover, greater Tehran with its large suburbs partly populated by Azeris. According to some other independent sources, there could be 25-30 million Azeris in Iran!!! Plus, some other ethnic Turkic groups such as Qasqays from Siraz and turks from Horasan. In this case, considerable part of Iran population, circa 35-40 % is Azeri Turks.

There is paradox if we compare 6.5 million, which is your estimate; and 25-30 million, more reliable estimates from different sources. Therefore Azeri Turkish language shall be one of two official languages of Iran and it must enjoy same right and privileges, which is already granted for Persian.



by Dariush (not verified) on

Your agenda has always been clear in your writings. Anti Iran and dividing, pro west and Israel/Zionist.
There is nothing worth reading in your writings and that is why most of the intelligent people who used to debate with you, do not waste their time on you any more.

Ben Madadi

Re: Anonymous1234

by Ben Madadi on

Is that you, A.D. ? ;)

I wish to publish on an article in which to discuss with some open-minded and knowledgeable (preferrably OPPOSING view) fellow Iranian about all the ethnic bla bla that exist in Iran. Can we do that? Nobody has accepted it so far. Am I intimidating? ;) I doubt it. Let's have a debate over these issues and publish it. And have as many views from all areas as possible, related to the matter!


to Anonymous1234

by simpleguy (not verified) on

I'm sorry you lost me with all that history lesson :))
You seem to be very concerned about our neighboring country :)) Why? I doubt you are concerned. I think you are so sorry that some Talysh or Kurd (Iranic people) are less and some Azeri or Turk more in other country. That is my guess! In Iran 25-30% were Azer Turk 80-90 years ago and today they may be 15-20%. But I didn't metnion anything about history. Even some of your fellow Persian-Aryan devotee friends in another comment said that Baku belongs to Armenia :)) Now you are saying that it was Persian??? My Iranian countryman, where are you? There are many other like you out there anyway! Good for you!
I don't think we can discus all this here. I wrote my opinion.


To simple guy, The

by Anonymous1234 (not verified) on

To simple guy,

The population of the country of Azerbaijan is not much. Like 7-8 million people. There used to be 80,000 Talysh in 1926 but the government claims now there are 77,000. So obviously a large scale assimilation has taken place. Obviously, there should be 800,000 Talysh if they had thought Talysh. Even most places like Baku were Persian speaking before the 20th century. Their Turkification came through Iranian immigrants from Azerbaijan province during the 19th century. Infact the republic of Azerbaijan was more Sunni than Shi'i prior to the large immigration in the 19th century. Note according to this report, Lezgins are 7-10%


Talysh are approximately the same (7-10%):


Talysh and Lezgins have areas that they are majority in. Just like the Armenians of mountainous Karabagh.

The Iranian Azeri population in the four provinces of Iran(Zanjan, East Azerbaijan, half of W. Azerbaijan and Ardabil) are about 6.5 million people. There are Azeris outside of this area, but these are the places where Azeri Turkish actually is the main language. That is also 10%. So it is not about percentages or numbers. Persian is the official and common language and schooling should be done in this language. One can learn Azeri or any other language in Tabriz or Azerbaijan due to the environment where people speak it. Should the government teach Azeri besides Persians? Well there is no standard Azeri dialect in Iran (I guess the Tabrizi one), but it had never been thought in Irans history. They sure can teach Azeri Turkish literature. Also where will the teachers come from? Should mathematics, sciences, history, geography, home education , mechanics be thought in that language? Should even schools be segregated based on language (say in Urmia where Kurds have their own school and Azeris their own!?)? These are not human rights issues but administrative issues. Azeri is not banned in Iran, there are state t.v., news papers, books, magazines, university level courses, and etc. But it is not thought in public school based on the fact that Persian is the official language. Although there are people that freely set up Azeri courses in Iran and no one has blocked them. I have never seen Talysh or Lezgi programs in youtube from Azerbaijan or Kurdish programs from Turkey, but one can see much Azeri, Kurdish, Arabic and etc. programs from state T.V. in Iran.

And I do not think our problem is bigger than Turkey and Azerbaijan. The name of these countries do not even go back to 100 years ago. Case in point: PKK has caused $500 billion damage to Turkey and yesterday it just attacked some Turkish bases. The Kurdish problem there is much more serious than Iranian Azerbaijan or Iranian Kurdistan. The republic of Azerbaijan has 15% or so of its land controlled by its own minority separatists. How many percent of Iran is controlled by one of its own ethnic groups?


to Anonymous1234

by simpleguy (not verified) on

I am an Iranain too, maybe like you. I read what the person frm Azerbaijan had written. He had not mentioned jokes, but had very good points about big talk regarding history and ridiculing others for having one or the other (history, literature etc) less old or things like that.

You tell him they do not have 12 years of schooling in Talysh, Lezgin or Kurdish? Are they supposed to have 12 years of schooling for minority groups who altogether account for 10% of a population of about 8 million??? And most of these minority groups in Azerbaijan are usually minorities even in their regions. The whole of Azerbaijan is very small. You can compare the Kurd situation in Turkey to that of Kurds or Azeris in Iran but if you compare Azerbaijan to Iran you just seem to be trying to find something to attack the person. Iran for example needs to do something about the cultural rights of those Iranian peoples who constitute a significant number first, and of course those who care. For instance you may give schooling possibility to Talysh in Iran and you will most likely find no-one for it. While if you do that for Azeri or Kurdish it is different. And I think the biggest problem is not culture but the lack of investments in many regions.

Look at these comments here and anywhere there is any talk of Iran's Azeri population or Turks, or Azeri Turks, and count how many of our fellow Persian Iranians resort ot insults and intimidations, and ridicule! We have problems much bigger than Azerbajan and much bigger than Turkey. It's not the jokes.


To human being. You guys do

by Anonymous1234 (not verified) on

To human being.
You guys do not have classes from 1-12 in Talyshi, Lezgi, Kurdish.


Okay you are right, everything will eventually collapse. But lets get the facts straight. The government of Iran does not discriminate based on ethnic background. It does discriminate based on religion. And having common jokes is not discrimination since there are many jokes about Persian/Persian related groups: Qazvinis, Esfahanis, Mash-hadis, Rashtis, Lurs and etc. These jokes about Turks had existed many centuries and it is not new. Even the ottoman empire had them! And having a few people prejudiced here and there (you can find some people in Tabriz prejudiced against Kurds, Persians equally) is not an indicator of the general population.

Andan Nezir Akmeşe, who describes the attempts of the Young Turk movement to ingrain nationalism among the Turkish speakers of the Ottoman empire prior to WWI:
"One consequence was to reinforce these officers sense of their Turkish nationality, and a sense of national grievance arising out of the contrast between the non-Muslim communities, with their prosperous, European-educated elites, and "the poor Turks [who] inherited from the Ottoman Empire nothing but a broken sword and an old-fashioned plough." Unlike the non-Muslim and non-Turkish communities, they noted with some bitterness, the Turks did not even have a proper sense of their own national identity, and used to make fun of each other, calling themselves "donkey Turk""

So some of these term go back centuries and it has nothing to do with discrimination. Just like if one reads Obey Zakani's work, then maybe they will understand the jokes about Qazvinis.


identity, game and history

by a human being (not verified) on

wowww....I'm from Azerbaijan Republic and to read so many variety in opinions about Iran, regime, and ethnic groups reminded me situation right after collaps of Soviet Union.
You see, Iran, whether it has hundreds of ethnic groups or oppressive regimes, is weak in terms of defining and constructing good relationships between ethnic groups. For me it does not matter whether people from South Azerbaijan want independence or not. I have experienced collapse of the USSR and I know it is very difficult to build a nation. Yet, I do care people and their culture, language and their land. History does not solve modern political problems. Turks came from somewhere else? So what? is there any nation that did not migrate from somewhere to somewhere else? Are persian people has "older culture"? So what? Does it give you reason to ridicule other cultures and to damage them and keep people from speaking their language at schools just because they happened to promote persian without being aware of modern ethnic sensibilities centuries ago? Don't be so naive. Turks (as well as arabs, persians, kurds, armenians etc) contributed to overall culture in the region and nobody seemed to be bothered about this. Yes, they killed, but so do persians, arabs and kurds.
nationality, ethnicity as building blocks of modern political entities of international significance, which the western world leaves gradually in its trash, is picked up by us - poor Iranians, azerbaijanians, persians, turks, kurds, arabs etc. Outcome of it is fear and strengthened prejudice.
To be honest, I feel Iran will be collapsed and it will be bad for all the region because it is unable to resolve boiling issues of language, culture, ethnicity and regime. People don't solve identity and ethnicity issues. ideologies and powerful promoters of this solve. Soviet Union collapsed, the USA will collapse too. it is just so happened that Iran seems will collapse as a regime and as a country earlier. (and so will be Azerbaijan Rebuplic also - or are they eternal?).
So keep talking, ridiculing, offending, and proving who is older, more significant and has more right to modern Iran. You will surely contribute to ashes of Iran and coming hell of wars and separations...unfortunately...


To Fatollah

by Anonymously555 (not verified) on

Mr. Moshiri is a great man. You need to watch all his video clips to see that he is in favor of good Azari people. He is a follower of Dr. Mosadegh(Azeri), Ahmad Kasravi(Azeri) and Sattar Khan(Azeri). He has always their pictures in background of his video clips. What he said about Turkish rulers is right and you should not feel offended by his comments because he tells the truth.

Colonel Hemayat

You Sir, are a Liar

by Colonel Hemayat on

Ben You  are liar and a traitor to Iran cuz:


1- The big powers will always benefit from cutting a country into peices, ex India, Soviot Union, Ottoman Empitre etc. Divide and Conquare.


2- Our Fathers did not give their soul and heart and blood during the Constitution revolution  to see "Nations" within one "Nation" it was the opposite.


3- I am almost sure you have some personal agenda or deeply hidden complex inside you against a united Iran, and Persian language, too many Turkish jokes?


It is a good thing that Mother Iran has enough of her Azari children to protect her from the likes of you.


Clicked on the link and

by Fatollah (not verified) on

Clicked on the link and listen to the caller and Mr. Moshiri's response. First of all, I don't have to come here and tell anyone that I am an Iranian nor do I have to utter my allegiance to the land of Iran. Anyone who would concider me less Iranian or less patriotic because of the fact that I come from north Western part of the Iranian platau, i.e. an Azeri, a Turk - my response would simply be very harsh! When I was a kid I used to vist and spend time with relatives in Tehran during the holiday's or summer times! I must have been 11/12 years old, as I enetered the bus someone had farted so the smell of stinch was filled in and around the bus driver - then the bus driver commented the situation by saying who had done it, no passenger responded, then he said he must have been a Turk "hatman Turk bood"!!! I wished I was a 20 years old so I could show this guy with a big scary mustach, simply teach him a lesson! Though the whole affair today feels and seems ridiculous, it show the kind of respect the bus driver and the likes of Moshiri's have for their fellow countrymen of Azerbaijani decent! Anyways, am sure Moshiri and people like him would have done a better job themselves or I have even heard that Khomeini himslef was a Turk! I concider Zerangi, Rendi and dodging responsiblity as being a none Azerbaijani trait! Have nice day.


To sanazi

by Ali1 (not verified) on

thanks a lot for your support. I am armenian. Baku is our and tabriz is our too. we love persians. we are all pure aryans and we will be united. thank you very much! I am proud of you! kisses

Ben Madadi

Re: jamshid

by Ben Madadi on

North Korea, as the example?!


IRI is only semi-tyrannic?

by jamshid on

"semi-tyrannic regime like that of Iran...."

SEMI? Would you mind telling me then what a "fully" tyrannic regime is?


Once again Ben, you are wrong!

by Ara Serjoie (not verified) on

Let me remind you that I am of Azari decent, but first and foremost an Iranian.

During the Winter Olympics of 2002, I was a National Olympic Committee volunteer and as such assigned to the team from Azarbaijan. In their initial interactions with me, the government officials from that country spoke of their dream of Iran's Azarbaijan separating from Iran and joining with the Republic of Azarbaijan. They must have assumed that because of my background and knowledge of the language, I would share that thought. Of course, I was immediately offended and made it very clear that such a situation would be our nightmare. We would rather die than be considered to be of another nationality.

As a matter of historical significance, there was an attempt to annex Azarbaijan from Iran once before. The threat of such an effort, regardless of being led by foreign aggressors or domestic traitors, remains to this day. I am glad that there are people - who you call paranoid - that would stand up to such an atrocity because they are indeed proud and patriotic.

You are using the blabbering of two people on TV as reasoning for your own emotional rampage, yet again, demonstrating that your bogus claims are not exactly founded in reality.


what it's true

by sanazi on

historically baku belonged to armenia,,,armenia and Azerbaijan had a war over disputed territories. Iran helped Armenia, and a lot of Iranians generally agree that baku historically belongs to Armenia. and during the war, NO ONE supported Rep. Azerbaijan (except turkie)

Ben Madadi

Re: sanazi

by Ben Madadi on

You are indeed one exception of the crowd absolutely free to ignore whatever I write and I indeed ignore what you write my dear. I welcome comments, especially disagreeing ones. For the viewers I post here one of the comments this character had left somewhere else:

"i agree that historically baku belongs to armenia, and most iranians
agree w/ that too, and thats why soviet azeris are pissed at us cuz
they expect us to back them up (since no one in the region backs them
except Turkie). and especially, they expect us to back them cuz they r
shia (like iranians),,,,but history has proven that baku belongs to




by sanazi on

And you suffer from an inferiority complex. You are the one constantly trying to prove how insignificant Iran, its history and its people are. You wont let go of this issue over the oppression of Azaris in Iran. In general, Iranian Azaris DO NOT feel the same way you do, that is they dont feel inferior to other Iranian ethnicities.

Ben Madadi

Re: Anonymous 2008

by Ben Madadi on

Dear anonymous,

Why are you so angry? Drink some cold water :)

I really don't want to enter into dialogue with you but I just have one simple question, after this quote from you "What is oppression for you Ben? Forcing people to accept foreigners
(turks or Arabs) as their rulers is not oppression? The safavid and
other turkic tribes had tried to turkify Iran with no success because
they did not have anything in turkic to start with, for instance, they
did not have any turkic books, poems and scientific writting just
becasue they were uncivilized and wild tribes and for that reason they
promoted and cherised the Persian language and hired Pesians Vazirs."

My fellow Iranian, you seem to be so angry at your fellow Turk Iranians that you go so far as to call them foreigners. You are free to do that. I am not arguing with you, but you need to heal your wounds and cool down and let go some hatred! Safavid were Iranians and they actually re-built Iran. Qajar were Iranian too. I am not defending them. But they were Azeri Turks. If you call them foreigners, then today's Azeris are foreigners too by definition. You are on the very extreme side of nationalism, or racism. I cannot argue with you :)


Per my post below, here is

by Anonymous1234 (not verified) on

Per my post below, here is just another news from today (from a reputable American Media):


"The CIA has denied any direct ties with the group, but U.S. officials tell ABC News U.S. intelligence officers frequently meet and advise Jundullah leaders, and current and former intelligence officers are working to prevent the men from being sent to Iran."

On Moshiri is indeed rebuking pan-Turkists. For example when the Mongols, bulk of them being of Turkish tribes came to Iran, they destroyed everything in their path. But no Iranian really has complained about that and made special commemoration days and etc. That incident alone is sufficient. Part of the reason for the backwardness of Iran has been the constant attacks on centers of Iranain cultures and its major cities by nomadic Turkic tribes from Central Asia. But pan-Turkists today have created a myth of being oppressed, even forgetting the fact that Pahlavi family was partially Azeri and in the IRI system, it was Khomeini (hardly can be called Persian Chauvinist and his ancestry goes back to India) and then Khamenei. As I said, we should not play in the hand of people that make these games. Mr. Moshiri like many other Iranians probably has had enough of it after seeing it repeated by pan-Turkist agitators. But he should not fall in the trap of the pan-Turkist agitators although he is historically correct and it was Turks really coming from Central Asia who came and oppressed Iranians, Greeks, Armenians and etc. But Iranians should be like Greeks/Armenians constantly wining and we should always look ahead. Most of those Turks anyhow adopted Iranian culture within the framework of Turkish language and that is why the culture of all Muslims in the region is similar.


Many contradictions & lies in your comments, Ben Madadi.

by Anonymous2008 (not verified) on

you are way out of line. You should read the history very carefully and then judge the Moshiri's comment on turkic rulers. Genocide committed by Tukic rulers against Persians was not because of power, in fact that was due to hatred and animosity toward Perisans. And also the wild and uncivilized culture of turkic tribes was an important fact for committing all those crimes.
Now lets take an approach to your contradictions, you wrote:
1) "They say that Persians have not OPPRESSED Turks (i.e. Iranian Turks) but Turks have oppressed Persians in the past 1,100 years. This is WRONG and worth nothing but blaming, and it is none-sense. When you are saying that Turks (Azeris of today) say that they say they are oppressed you are propagatting a false idea".
What is oppression for you Ben? Forcing people to accept foreigners (turks or Arabs) as their rulers is not oppression? The safavid and other turkic tribes had tried to turkify Iran with no success because they did not have anything in turkic to start with, for instance, they did not have any turkic books, poems and scientific writting just becasue they were uncivilized and wild tribes and for that reason they promoted and cherised the Persian language and hired Pesians Vazirs.
2)"Even during turk rulers Persians enjoyed the same rights as Turks (IF) they were Shia". Now ask yourself whether forcing Persians to convert to Shiaism was not oppression!!!!!!.

3)"So, let me conclude! First of all Turks did not oppress Persians. They happend to be more powerful, so they became rulers".
How they became poweful? wasn't by committing genocide and killing of millions of Persians? How can you ignore and get over all those crimes and atrocities and claim that THEY (Turks) HAPPENED TO BE MORE POWERFUL, SO THEY BECAME RULERS!!!!!!!.
4)As far as I remember Azeris and all other minorities in Iran during Pahlavi era were free to talk their local language, practiced their own culture and norms, and wearing their local and traditional customs. Each country needs to an official language so that people can communicate with each other and that is a necessity, not oppression of ethnicites.

Ben Madadi

Re: Anonymousian

by Ben Madadi on

Okay, I'm going to do just that!

Let's watch this video and comment on what he says, in order to see what he actually says, to comment on it. I must admit that this was the first time I learnt this person existed.

1) The guy on the phone says that Azerbaijanis say that they want a FREE Azerbaijan, as if Azerbaijan was under occupation. I don't know how many Azerbaijanis say they want a FREE Azerbaijan. That's an insesitive generalisation. Those who want an INDEPENDENT Azerbaijan, separated from Iran are very few in numbers (but this is not Moshiri talking, though he agrees with the caller).

2) Moshiri, and the caller, both agree and say that "baese badbakhtiye Iran hamin ghabaele Torkan." They say that Persians haev not OPPRESSED Turks (i.e. Iranian Turks) but Turks have oppressed Persians in the past 1,100 years. This is WRONG and worth nothing but blaming, and it is none-sense. When you are saying that Turks (Azeris of today) say that they say they are oppressed you are propagatting a false idea. There is no Persian oppressing Turks in Iran. It is the REGIME. So, that statement was WRONG. Then, relating today's Azeri Turks' dissatisfactions to those Turks who migrated to Iran 1.100 years ago is absolutely wrong too. First of all they are not exactly the same people. They have intermarried the local populations. Second, Moshiri talks about Agha Mohammad Khan who killed the Zand people. Saying that this was Turk doing something to Fars is wrong too. Because they were enemies vying for power. It wasn't an ethnic issue. The Safavid and the Qajar and the Afshar never showed mercy toward their enemies. But we all know that they cherished Persian language. They hired Persian viziers. They didn't care about people's ethnicity. They preferred competence so that their empire was strong. They killed non-Shia subjects, even Turk ones. The issue was not ethnic.

Saying that Turk oppressed Fars is nothing but propaganda to intimidate Iran's Azeri Turks so they shut up and not speak about their legitimate issues as normal citizens of their own country. People like Moshiri, and many many many others I would call Nationalists or extrimists, want to create what they as a Persian Iran, where non-Persians are subdued.

So, let me conclude! First of all Turks did not oppress Persians. They happened to be more powerful, so they became rulers. They did not oppress the Persian identity or culture. They did the opposie (unlike Arabs). Turks promoted Persian literature and culture, and often actually adopted it. The reason for the fights that took place was not Turk or Fars, but most often power, or religion. Today Persians, Fars people, DO NOT oppress Turks, or Azeris, and saying this is WRONG. The regime does. But even the regime does not diffeentiate about ethnicites, and oppresses everyone. However the Pahlavi, and the IRI, have done a lot of damage to non-Persian IDENTITY, by suppressing local languages and customs, and also by neglecting various non-Persian regions in their investments. This does not equate to oppression of ethnicites. Azeris living in Tehran enjoy the same rights and everything else that Persians do. Even during turk rulers Persians enjoyed the same rights as Turks if they were Shia. However back then nationalism was not yet introduced and the state was based mostly on religion.