Letter of Protest To Congressman Dana Rohrabacher On Separation of Azarbaijan from Iran


Letter of Protest To Congressman Dana Rohrabacher On Separation of Azarbaijan from Iran
by arash Irandoost

August 27, 2012

The Honorable Congressman Dana Rohrabacher

Chairman of the Oversight and Investigation Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee

101 Main Street, Suite 380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648


The Honorable Congressman Dana Rohrabacher,

The Iranian-American community is appalled to hear that a person of your stature as Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations would entertain the absurd notion of separating Azerbaijan from our beloved motherland Iran, simply because of a phone conversation with an ill-educated member of the ruling party of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Mr. Congressman, there are simply so many errors in your short letter to Mrs. Clinton, that one is dumbfounded as to where to start. To begin with, through the course of the history of nations many invasions bring linguistic, if not necessarily language, changes. To assume that someone who speaks a language must be ethnically of a certain origin is a false assumption.

Azerbaijan, the land of Zoroaster, has always, and continues to be, an inseparable part of Iran. Azaris are Iranians first and foremost. The historical account of Azerbaijan belonging to Iran and Azari as Iranians are too numerous to mention here, but for the Congressman’s enlightenment, a few are listed herein:

Ahmad Kasravi, a notable Iranian linguist and historian, known for his solid research on the ancient Azari language, successfully demonstrated that Azari language was an offshoot of Pahlavi language, arguing that the ancient Azari language had been closely related to the Persian language and the influx of Turkic words began only with the Saljuq invasion. Mr. Kasravi proved that the true national language of Iranian Azerbaijan was Persian and, due to this discovery, he was granted membership of the London Royal Asiatic Society and American Academy.

Many other notable Persian, Arab and Western scholars and historians further provide documentation that the entire land called Azarbaijan has always been a part of Iranian territory.

Abu al-Hasan Ali ibn al-Husayn Al-Masudi (896-956), the Arab historian states: The Persians are a people whose borders are the Mahat Mountains and Azarbaijan up to Armenia and Aran, and Bayleqan and Darband, and Ray and Tabaristan and Masqat and Shabaran and Jorjan and Abarshahr, and that is Nishabur, and Herat and Marv and other places in land of Khorasan, and Sejistan and Kerman and Fars and Ahvaz.

Hamzeh Isfahani writes in the book al-Tanbih ‘ala Hoduth al Tashif that five “tongues” or dialects, were common in Sassanid Iran: Pahlavi, Dari, Parsi (Farsi), Khuzi and Soryani. Hamzeh (893-961 A.D.) explains these dialects in the following way: Pahlavi was a dialect which kings spoke in their assemblies and it is related to Fahleh. This name is used to designate five cities of Iran, Esfahan, Rey, Hamadan, Man Nahavand, and Azerbaijan.

According to Professor Tadeusz Swietochowski:…, the name “Azerbaijan” is derived from Atropates, the name of a Persian satrap of the late fourth century B.C. Another theory traces the origin of the name to the Persian word azar (“fire”‘) – hence Azerbaijan, “the Land of Fire”, because of Zoroastrian temples, with their fires fueled by plentiful supplies of oil. Azerbaijan maintained its national character after its conquest by the Arabs and its subsequent forced conversion to Islam. Only in the 11th century, when Turkic tribes under the Seljuk dynasty entered the country, did Azerbaijan acquire a significant number of Turkic inhabitants. The original Persian population became fused with the Turks, and gradually the Persian language was supplanted by a Turkic dialect that evolved into the distinct Azari language.

Furthermore, claiming that East and Western Azarbaijan were named by the Islamic Republic is totally absurd and inaccurate, since the regime came to power only 33 years ago. The Turkomanchai Treaty the Congressman refers to in your letter was a treaty between Russia and Persia ending the Russo-Persian War of 1826–28. According to the terms of the treaty (Article 4 ), Iran lost sovereignty over Yerevan (current capital of Armenia), Nakhichevan, Talysh, Ordubad, and Mughan regions of Arran Province (now part of modern Azerbaijan Republic), in addition to all lands annexed by Russia in the Gulistan Treaty. Further proof that the current Republic of Azarbaijan belonged to Iran and not the other way around.
Congressman, please do not make the same mistake as the current administration.

As Iranian-Americans, we believe that President Obama is on the same erroneous foreign policy path as President Carter over three decades ago when it comes to the Middle East. Much like the “gift of Islamic Republic to Iran, the 'gift' of a terrorist organization such as the Muslim Brotherhood over Egypt and Al Qaida in Libya are the very by-products of an ill-informed and naïve President and Democratic administrations. The great majority of Iranians despises the current criminal regime in Iran and do not identify with its leadership’s fanatical and expansionist ideology. We consider the current regime a menace to world peace and are seeking the world’s assistance to get rid of the parasite called the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Congressman Rohrabacher, there are over a million Iranian-Americans living in the United States, indeed, Iranians are amongst the most highly educated ethnic minority groups living in the United States. Most importantly, we are very active in politics, because of the unfortunate imposition of the Islamic Republic government on our country, largely due to President Carter’s ineptitude and lack of knowledge and familiarity with the Middle East.

Mr. Rohrabacher, educated Iranians bear no animosity toward the Republic of Azarbaijan. Our historic cultural and linguistic ties date back centuries. Neither do the Iranian people bear any animosity toward the state of Israel. A great majority of educated Iranians consider Israelis as their friends. Cyrus the Great has been mentioned in the Hebrew Bible as the patron and deliverer of the Jews who ended their captivity. Under our great king the world's first Charter of Human Rights was established. The Congressman might be interested in knowing that prior to the Islamic Republic seizing power 33 years ago, Iran and Israel were the closest ally of the United States in the Middle East.
Please do not equate the people of Iran with the current repressive regime in power.

Various Iranian opposition groups have been fighting the regime inside and outside of Iran. We are opposed to futile dialogue and diplomacy of three decades and are seeking regime change for Iran and have pushed for the strictest sanctions against the regime, including a full embargo of Iranian oil. Of course, the regime has derided the impact of international sanctions on its economy, but that swagger is showing signs of becoming more of a panic as Iran’s currency continues its slide in the wake of new US sanctions targeting the Iranian central bank. We are concerned that, in your misguided zeal to help Israel, you might just provide the Islamic Republic the pretext it needs to mobilize the masses with its anti-Western propaganda and further suppress the opposition groups fighting the regime so valiantly!

Despite your recommendation, it is about time that countries such as the United States publicly align themselves with the democracy-seeking people who have suffered brutally at the hands of dictators and tyrants. It is time to give honor, dignity, moral imperatives and ethical values precedence over lucrative financial contracts that often occur, wrongly, at the expense of ordinary Iranian citizens’ lives.

By supporting pro-democracy Iranian opposition groups, the world community can not only avert a regional and potentially global catastrophe, it will also help establish a democratic system of government in the region. If Iranians are successful in shaking off the yoke of theocracy, their success could herald the failure of a political and militant Islam. Helping Iran become a democracy is not only is a moral imperative, but should be considered an essential foreign policy priority that will bring a sustainable and lasting peace to the Middle East.

A great majority of Iranians do not plan to vote for Mr. Obama as he turned his back on Iranian demonstrators during the June 2009 uprising and stood silent while the regime thugs violently crushed the demonstrators and fatally shot our beloved Neda. He is doing the same in Syria. We are looking forward to Mr. Romney’s presidency and the Republican control of the House and the Senate and are hopeful that he will support the pro-West and pro-democracy Iranian groups to get rid of this rapist regime and help restore peace and order to a troubled region of the world brought on us largely due to foreign policy mistakes of the Democratic administrations. Please do not stoop to their level and make the same mistake.



The Undersigned

Dr. Arash Irandoost, Founder, Pro-democracy Movement of Iran (PDMI), //www.pdmi.org and www.pdmiran.org, Member, Advisory board of Foundation for Democracy in Iran (FDI)

Kenneth R. Timmerman, Nobel prize nominee, Best selling author, Journalist and 2012 Congressional candidate, DC, MD

Reza Kahlili, Served in CIA Directorate of Operations, as a spy in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, counter-terrorism expert, Author of A Time to Betray; Member, Advisory board of Foundation for Democracy in Iran (FDI)

Walton K. Martin - Director, Iran Information project - USA

Dr. Gill Gillespie - Director, Iran Information project - UK

Amil Imani, Iran Expert, Author of Obama meets Ahmadinejad and Operation Persian Gulf

Parvin Irandoost- Human Rights Activist, USA

Roxanne Ganji, Political Activist, USA

Behdad Morshedi, Human rights defender

Rose Atwood, Political and human rights activist

Shabnam Assadollahi, Human Rights Activist, Freelance Broadcaster, Board Member: Neda for a Free Iran, Former Political Prisoner

Shadi Paveh, Spokesperson for Campaign to Free Political Prisoners in Iran, Canada

Homayoun Mobasseri, Organizing Director: Neda for a Free Iran, www.nfafi.org

Soheila Nikpour, Director, Iranian Refugee Amnesty Network, Representative, Campaign to Free Political Prisoners in Iran

Dr. Bahram Rad, Human Rights Researcher, Sydney University

Firouzeh Ghaffarpour, Human Rights advocate and Political Activist

Sogol Ayrom, Political Activist, Austria

Saied Shemirani, Political and Human Rights Activist, TV Host, Founder: United Persian Organization (Iranbozorg)

Mohammad Taghi Moslehi - Journalist and political activist, Washington DC......

For a complete list of signatories, please click on the links below:

Please sign the petition and please contact pdmi if you like you name on the letter and thank you!




more from arash Irandoost
Hafez for Beginners

Wales/Scotland vs. England

by Hafez for Beginners on


CELTIC Wales/Scotland  Vs.  ANGLO SAXON England:

I grew up in Great Britain: Wales and Scotland are "Celtic" people. The English are "Anglo-Saxon". The difference is far more distinct and  pronounced than the Azari/Persian differences.

Some foreign leader calling for the cutting off of Wales or Scotland - would be just as ludicrous. In other words, before proposing this kind of chewing up of nations, why not be consistent and apply it to All? My guess is we don't, because  it would look really silly.


BOTH PDMI & NIAC have to be Transparent ...

by MaryamJoon on

I checked the PDMI website and it says 'NIAC's financing is not transparent ...' 

So, I'm asking both PDMI and NIAC to both reveal certain information:

All sources of funding?

Who is the leader?

Number of members?

Number of members that are Iranians?

Number of members that are not Iranians? 

Number of people that work for them that are not Iranians? 


Do these groups just think we are going to follow them because they have some fancy name?  Details ... details ... details. 



maryamjoon: on "transparent accounting of who funds PDMI".....

by Roozbeh_Gilani on

ey baba to ham hoseleh daari........!!!!! 

I once asked for "transpararent accounting and funding stuff" for NIAC. Now given the fact that all members of NIAC have at least one account on this site(a minimum of a nice/polite one and another nasty/lebaas shakhsi  one!!!), you'd expect some answer. Well the only answer I got was a bunch of cute  personal attacks from the "lebaas shakhsi" accounts!

So my advice: Avoid using words such as  "transparency", 'accounts", "funds" and so on, when talking about US/Canada/Europe based Islamist Regime friendly organisations, or else, you'd become as "popular" as me on this site!!!.

"Personal business must yield to collective interest."

Soosan Khanoom

Something fishy is going on?

by Soosan Khanoom on

Seeing bunch of MEKs and a well known Spy sign this !!!! Ok now tell me, what's the catch? What's going on?   Since when , these people whom I am well aware of their ill wishes for Iran and iranians have become so interested about this topic?  And, you, Arash , just remind me of Ahmadinejat and his sudden love affair with Cyrus the great !



Such an excellent letter

by Liberty on

It is the duty of each and every Iranian citizen to defend territorial Integrity of Iran. I am glad that Dr. Irandoost have taken much needed action on this issue.

Dana Rohrabacher needs to comprehend that territorial integrity of Iran is NOT negotiable under any conditions!



Is PDMI the group supported by Ken Timmerman?

by MaryamJoon on

1. Who is the leader of the group calling itself the "Pro Democracy Movement of Iran"?  

2. Where can I see a transparent accounting of who funds PDMI?

3. Who are the board of directors?  

4. Can you and Trita Parsi agree to a written debate where I will write questions to both groups using one of the blogs here and you can both respond in writing?  

Like I said, I see serious problems with NIAC (like their refusal to condemn separatists), but also if PDMI cannot identify its leaders, it's board of directors, show a transparent source of all its financing, and have the people responsible be interviewed by leading Iranian scholars, there is no point in supporting that group. The same holds true for NIAC.   

Thanks for answering the questions and providing links. 

arash Irandoost

This is not about NIAC or PMOI

by arash Irandoost on

This Congressman shamelessly wrote a letter to Hillary Clinton and asked her to give a portion of our homeland to the Republic of Azarbaijan for very "stupid and arrogant" reasons, I might add.  Please respect the intent of the letter and put your siahbaazi aside for now. There will be plenty
of time to pay your dues to Terita.  As Iranians we have a duty to defend our country and protest against anyone that entertains the idea of separating any inch of our homeland.  Remember 9/11 when all American came together?
Of course, there has been a brain drain at IC for sometime and many of you can not pass beyond your blinding ideology to think about Iran and mobilize against an arrogant Congressman who possibly got paid by someone to create trouble.

Ever wonder why opportunists such as NIAC and PAAIA and IABA have not objected to the Congressman?  Have you asked Trita, why?  How come he is so silent this time?  Is Aliev is paying him as well, or Comrade Putin has asked him to remain silent.  Should that what we should be discussing??? 
Ironically after writing of this letter, NIAC and its cronies started a malicious
campaign against Ken Timmerman who is one of the signatories and  is running for Congress.  I think Trita is paranoid about the possibility of Timmerman getting elected, don’t you?

arash Irandoost


by arash Irandoost on

PDMI stands for Pro Democracy Movement of Iran and has not connection whatso ever with MEK or PMOI.  Do not buy into NIAC propaganda.

 Trita Parsi has made several attemst smear me and connect me to MEK, but I do not care for MEK anymore than i care for IRI.


it is perhaps time for Iranians to challenge their feloow brethren for documentation and not fall for smear tactics of NIAC and its Sandiskhoors.



PMOI / NIAC - both bad for different reasons

by MaryamJoon on

NIAC does not work for the government of Iran.  However NIAC is not a good group because they should be speaking up and educating Iranians about these types of threats. 

But the PMOI is worse than NIAC, but on this occasion at least PMOI correctly noted that Azaris are ethnic Iranians. I don't like the PMOI, but where is Trita Parsi's condemnation of Rohrabacher's separatist statements? 

The same criticism goes for the other Iranian groups that don't say anything.  If they can't speak up, they should find something else to do.  

I'll support NIAC on the no war / no sanctions issues, but I'm not going to pretend that they represent Iranians.

All I have to say is thank God for Dr. Farrokh, Dr. Ferdowsi and Iranian Facebook who have taken the time educate Iranians about these threats - I have learned so much from reading their websites.  

First Amendment

"stealing that aid and selling it on the black market"

by First Amendment on

This IRI must be a strange creature...........on one hand financing Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas, etc. and on the other hand in need of selling blankets.........I've never heard of a gun for the price of a tent, or canned food...........

Isn't it time to back up our claims with some credible evidence?.....Isn't it enough of desperate rumors and propaganda?.........maybe not........



by Walt on


You are very wrong about NIAC and Parsi only being Anti-sanctions.  Their whole operation is geared toward implimenting policy in Washington that favors the mullahs in Iran, 'Velayat-e Faqih' and lining Parsi's pockets with Tomans. 

They also initiate slander campaigns against anyone whom opposes or exposes their goals of infiltrating IRI loyalist into US government through their use of internships at Senate and Congressional offices that act as spies and attempt to sway policy on Iran and Palestine.  Parsi is a danger to Freedom seeking Iranians and to US National Security just as much so as our current President and H. R. Clinton. 

What other anti-war or anti-sanction group is funded to the tune of 1/2 million dollars a year by mullahs?

Not only is NIAC quiet on Separtism, they are quiet on Human Rights attrocities; They remain silent on the ethnic cleansing of Baloch, Kurds and Ahwazi's. 

Parsi and NIAC cried like babies about earthquake aid to Iranians in need, which none of us oppose.  What we oppose is the regime stealing that aid and selling it on the black market for profit to finance terrorism just as they did during the Bam earthquake while they watched their citizens die in the rubble.

Aid arrived recently and when the IRI tried to seize it, the students and aid workers that stood defiantly in their path were arrested and imprisoned.  Then the aid was stolen and loaded onto IRI trucks and taken away.

Parsi and the whole NIAC crew are dangerous spies of the IRI and anyone who thinks differently needs to wake up.

Ba Mehr,



My thoughts: No PMOI ... No NIAC

by MaryamJoon on

1. Disgusting - Nobody wants the MEK / PMOI for reasons people have aready stated before.  

2. The research on Azarbaijan is actually correct but was copied from 2 of the scholars from IranianFacebook.com who did the actual research and who were the first to respond - they oppose the MEK - PMOI. (Yes, even the Wikipedia article was from those writers, and they are not fans of MEK either.)  See Rebuke of Rohrabacher by Iranianfacebook ; Origins of panturkism ; Archive of materials warning Iranians about the dangers of panturkism.  

3.  NIAC, and all other organizations are equally to blame.  NIAC is only an anti-sanctions group.  Most Iranians are against sanctions and war.  But also it is issues like this (separatism) where NIAC's silence is deafening and it shows its impotence as a well-lead group.