An Ahwazi Arab, Adel Al Asadi, a former MP in Iran’s parliament, now living in the West, has revealed information about a secret and illegal committee formed by the Iranian Mullahs’ regime specifically to devise and implement oppressive measures against the Ahwazi people. Mr. Al Asadi has made this public to the media for the first time in an interview with Ahwaz Monitor.
After the Ahwazi Arab lands had been occupied and its sovereignty annexed to Iran in 1925, under the control of the new Shah, Reza Pahlavi, with support from the British Empire at that time, the policies of every successive Iranian regime towards Al Ahwaz were characterised by secrecy and security.
Continuing on the same path, in the1980’s, shortly after he came to power, Ayatollah Khomeini’s regime set up a top secret committee called “Shoraye Aali Khuzestan” meaning The Al Ahwaz High Council. This council has legal and political supremacy over all the country’s laws and judicial institutions and is exempt from any state regulation or supervision.
It had been hoped that the 1979 Iranian Revolution, with crucial and effective support from non-Persian people would bring real positive change to Iran as demands for freedom and justice proliferated and the internal pressures intensified against the repressive and racist mentality of the Shah and his administration.
However, all such hopes were dashed when the Mullahs hijacked the People’s Revolution and set about renovating the repressive institutions and security offices, which had been destroyed by the revolution and using them once more against the people. Repression came this time wearing a religious cloak and turban and it soon became clear that the persecution actually escalated with the Mullahs in control.
Before he seized power, Khomeini made various promises to the followers of the then-Ahwazi spiritual leader Grand Ayatollah Sheikh Mohammad Taher Al Shobair Khaghani. However, these proved false and when early in 1979 the Ahwazis staged a peaceful demonstration to ask for their rights, the protest was brutally crushed on the direct orders of Ayatollah Khomeini’s representative, the then-military governor of Khuzestan, and the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Ahmad Madani. Hundreds were killed, or injured, in this massacre, on a day that has gone down in Ahwazi history as ‘Black Wednesday’.
As part of this, all the cultural centres that had been established by the Ahwazi Arabs, pro the Ahwazi spiritual leader, Al Shobair Khaghani, were shut down, after being banned from running any social activities.
This was because the Mullahs realised that these centres represented a great threat and danger to the regime as they could be used to raise awareness among the Ahwazis and to demand full social and political rights, including the right to self-determination, to decide their own destiny.
The Iran-Iraq War, which started in 1980, and was kept going until 1988 on a variety of pretexts, had a devastating impact on the Ahwazi Arabs. The Ahwazi cities and villages were adjacent to the conflict area and so suffered intense shelling from both sides. But worse than this, at the very time that Ahwazi homes and lives were going up in flames the Iranian regime embarked on developing a secret plan to subjugate the Ahwazi Arabs and present them with a fait accompli new reality, paving the way for the regime to take over the massive resources of this wealthy region, filled with oil and gas, by depriving the Ahwazis of any local or regional means of redress.
Mr. Asadi said, the Al Ahwaz High Council includes top members of the ruling power and is initially considered a branch of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran which is headed up by the Iranian President, currently Hassan Rouhani. The membership is made up of:
1- A representative of the Supreme Leader
2- A representative of the President
3- The chief commander of the Sepah IRGC
4- The chief commander of the Basiji militias
5- A representative of the supreme leader in the region
6- The governor of the province
It’s most important activities and recommendations include:
– Requisitioning more Ahwazi Arab farmlands in the province, giving a paltry sum in compensation, and giving the land to the IRGC cadres and their relatives, or encouraging immigrants from Persian provinces to relocate to Al Ahwaz.
– Trying to change the demographics of the Al Ahwaz region, including the cities and villages, changing the balance in favour of non-Arabs or incomers.
-Preventing and banning the publication of any local newspaper or magazines in Arabic language.
-Reducing the number of Arab workers and employees in the public and private sectors and trying to replace them with new non-Arab immigrants.
-Disallowing the reconstruction of areas, specifically Mohammareh, (Khoramshahr in Farsi) which were affected by the Iran-Iraq war and trying to stop escapees from returning to their homes by refraining from giving them any financial funding for the reconstruction of their homes, while encouraging the settlement of expatriates in the province by giving them Government loans and grants.
This secret security committee was initially financed by the “Supreme National Security Council of Iran ” and has been able to gain much success in terms of demographic change on the ground, portraying as reality that some big Ahwaz cities such as Abadan, which were historically recognised as being Arab dominant up to the 1960’s, are now Persian dominant.
But this regime’s racist actions will definitely incite hatred and become the cause of conflict breaking out between the native inhabitants, the Ahwazi Arabs, and the migrant settlers, as a result of any instability appearing in the Iranian regime.
The actions of this committee are illegal and immoral, according to the international human right conventions and international law, and totally not in accordance with the Iranian regime’s obligations towards international law. The Iranian regime must be called to account by the appropriate bodies of the United Nations and these practices brought to a full stop.
By: Ahwaz Monitor