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Geopolitical-Analysis Human Rights Activism

Ahwazis will come under the Guillotine of Mullahs Following Parade Attack

Last Saturday, September 22nd, the Ahwazi National Resistance Movement mounted an attack on a military parade held in the region of Ahwaz. Many cadets showing up on the scene were killed and wounded. The attack was a severe blow to the regime’s security and military establishments.

Please note the Arabic Spokesman is refuting the Channels information shown in the Arabic headline on screen.

Following the attack, several senior military and political officials made frenzy remarks, vowing to get revenge on the perpetrators. In the meantime, ethnic minorities in Iran are experiencing the harshest forms of repression at the hands of the regime. In Ahwaz, people are being crushed in the real sense of the term. The regime is already arresting thousands of Ahwazis, confiscating their lands, expelling them from their hometowns and a massive scheme for changing the demographic makeup is being implemented.

Mass arrests, frenzy remarks

The regime’s apparatuses have launched a massive crackdown against the Ahwazi activists in the aftermath of the attack. According to reports, 22 people were detained by the authorities shortly after the attack. A statement by the Intelligence Ministry claimed that they are the perpetrators.

Videos posted online have shown the Iranian security forces randomly arresting people everywhere. People were arrested from the streets. And others were hunted from their homes.

The Iranian regime has been repressing the Ahwazi activists and youths even before the attack took place.  They are detained for long terms, without trials and under harsh circumstances in the detention centers of the intelligence.

According to activists, the ongoing crackdown is aimed to militarize the entire Ahwazi region. And this could set the scene for an unheard era of repression against the Ahwazi community. The Iranian officials made remarks following the attack in which they vowed to respond in the deadliest and harshest possible way.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the attack showed Iran has “a lot of enemies,” according to remarks posted on his website, in which he linked the attackers to the United States, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. “Definitely, we will harshly punish the operatives” behind the terrorist attack, he added.

Speaking at the funeral, the Revolutionary Guard’s acting commander, Gen. Hossein Salami, vowed revenge against the perpetrators and what he called the “triangle” of Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the United States. Salami, in a speech broadcast on state TV, said: “You have seen our revenge before. You will see that our response will be crushing and devastating and you will regret what you have done.”

Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavai told the mourners that his agency had identified many suspects involved in the attack and “a majority of them were detained.” “We will punish the terrorists, one by one,” he promised the crowd.

Yet the secretary of Iran’s National Security Council said Tehran needed to talk to its neighbors to avoid tensions. “It’s essential to be fully aware and increase our constructive dialogues to neutralize the plots of enemies who want to create suspicion and disagreement among regional countries,” Ali Shamkhani said.

Who will be targeted?

Based on these remarks, it is quite clear that the Iranian regime is adamantly intent on targeting some factions, whether it be those who were behind the attack or those it deems a threat to its existence in power does not make a difference.

Although the Iranian Regime asserted through the comments made by its officials that it will definitely get revenge on those behind the attack, did not name any party that might be responsible for the operation. It also brought forward no evidence condemning any foreign nations. According to IRNA news agency, Iran had summoned the envoys of the UK, Denmark and the Netherlands. It accused these countries of harboring Iranian opposition groups.

Also, the supreme leader Ali Khamenei did not name the regional countries he said that are behind the armed attack. Therefore, It is likely that Iran, in reprisal, will target those it did not name. Some of the Iranian officials have frequently mentioned Washington as a likely sponsor for the attack. Rouhani mentioned it, saying it backed the Gulf nations and the latter armed and financed these groups. Focusing on Washington is, in fact, aimed to neutralize it as a military and security target, not to target its interests and military presence in the Gulf.

Were Iran to seriously consider targeting the US military, we would not hear such comments, we would have rather heard of bombings hitting US military bases or convoys in the area. The US ‘thuggish unilateralism’, as Rouhani puts it, will be responded to by Iran through statements only, since the latter is well aware that the new US administration will not tolerate any attacks on its interests in the Middle East as it did under the former administration of Barrack Obama. It will not even be able to abduct US marines as the IRGC did under Obama four years ago.

The Iranian regime knows that the US administration is on the lookout for any response or reprisal from Iran as it is intent on changing Iran’s behaviors in the region. Most of the analyses suggest Iran will never be able to target the US interests. Iran is vocal against the US. But this position will in no way go beyond heated rhetoric. Tehran will not be able to exceed the red lines.

These analysts add that the so-called Iranian wrath will be unleashed instead on the Arab countries. This has been very evident in recent years. To the IRGC, the Great Satan is no longer Washington. Instead, they are now simply focusing on unsettling Arab nations by stirring infighting among the populations as well as fueling sectarian conflicts.

This attack will make a case for the Iranian regime to tighten its grip on power. Ahwaz will be the area which will bear much of the brunt in the aftermath of the attack. Iran has been marginalizing the area for years. Marginalization in the area engendered the sense of oppression within its people, given the fact that they know well that the regime generates much of its resources from their oil-rich area. 

The Iranian leadership has no desire to admit that the harsh circumstances in which those people live prompt them to sacrifice their lives for the sake of killing just a few of the despicable Iranian soldiers.

Iran, which is heading for a crippling package of US sanctions, will attempt to heighten tensions in the Arab sphere. But it is well aware that what was allowed under former US administrations may not be allowed today. The Iranian position towards the US and Israel will remain unchanged. Interests of the two countries will not be attacked by Iran. But the latter will unleash hell on the Ahwazis at home. It may also use its proxy militias to mount attacks on the Gulf nations’ interests and facilities.

The Iranian president Hassan Rouhani vowed to get revenge on those who perpetrated the attack. Analysts say those targeted will be, most likely, the Ahwazis. “No doubt the Islamic republic will not let this crime go unpunished,” Rouhani said, adding ‘its quite obvious for us who did this, what group it is, and with whom they have ties’.

Time to resist!

The Iranian hell will likely be unleashed on the Ahwazis. They now have to endure more detentions, home demolitions, and executions. Therefore, many believe that the regional countries and the international community should deal with the fact that it is time for the Ahwazis to resist. They have the right to resist these practices and use every which way to achieve this end.

They are occupied. Their people are oppressed.

Most people around the world have not heard of this because the regime successfully suppressed the Ahwazi people and viciously silenced them. The Ahwazis are deprived of their rights. They are even banned from learning their own language. They are forced from home. They even pursued peaceful means in their pursuit of freedom. But they were faced with ruthless crackdowns by the regime and supremacist rejection by the other opposition factions. The regime has created and caused the ongoing deadlock. The dilemma in which the country is enmired in all aspects is caused by the regime’s policies toward all minority groups, especially the Ahwazis.

To this day, despite the Iranian regime’s nominally being a signatory to the UN Declaration of Human Rights, Ahwazis are denied the most basic of rights, including the right to publicly speak or be educated in their own mother tongue, Arabic, to publicly wear their traditional Arab garb, or to officially own their own homes. The regime routinely evicts families from their homes and lands. These families properties have been owned for generations. They are evicted without any notice and with no opportunity to take their possessions before they are driven out. This is often done in order to either rehouse non-Ahwazi settlers there or to demolish these homes completely and construct settlements for ethnically Persian colonists.

Ahwazi landowners and tenants have no legal right to challenge these inhuman evictions or to seek compensation for this straightforward theft; if they attempt to do so, they will be the ones arrested on fabricated charges. The well-constructed settlements built for the Iranian settlers in Ahwaz are provided with gas, electricity, water, and the customary amenities, in stark contrast to Ahwazi communities which are denied the most basic services.  Ahwazi Arabs are limited to using some available overstretched infrastructure that is aging badly and often broken down beyond repair.

Whichever of the ayatollahs’ two political arms – the ‘reformists’ or ‘conservatives’ (both controlled by the Supreme Leader) – are in government, the regime is equally brutal, with ‘moderate reformist’ President Rouhani presiding over a period that’s seen the highest execution rates in the Islamic Republic’s history, giving Iran the dubious distinction of being second only to China in the per capita annual number of executions worldwide. Of course, that is not taking into account the random on the street executions that happen daily and are documented on video by passersby. Therefore, these groups have now one option to rid themselves of the regime’s insolence and oppression: resistance.

It was agreed long ago that armed struggle against a colonial occupation force is not just recognized under international law but specifically approved. In accordance with international humanitarian law, wars of national liberation have been expressly condoned, through the adoption of The Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions 1949, as a protected and essential right of occupied people everywhere.

Indeed, as early as 1974, resolution 3314 of the UNGA prohibited states from “any military occupation, however temporary”. Thus, Ahwazis have the ultimate right to take up arms for their homeland to be free. There are no violations they commit. There is no prejudice to law. There is no injustice they perpetrate. Their enemy-the Iranian state-is the one who detains, tortures and kills people. It also devours their resources and expels them from their homelands. The Ahwazis are on the right side in this question. They are not the one to blame for the current situation. The ball is still in the regime’s court.

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About the author

Rahim Hamid

Rahim Hamid

Rahim Hamid is a freelance journalist and human rights advocate who writes about the plight of his community - the Ahwazi Arabs - and other ethnic groups in Iran.
He has published articles in many well-known media outlets such as the Huffington Post, telegraph.co.uk, The Daily Caller, INTERNATIONAL POLICY DIGEST, and VocalEurope.eu

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