Facing Iran Oppression, Ahwazi Activists Warn Rise in Pre-Election Arrests

London- Arab activists have warned of unprecedented rise in arrests made by Tehran forces against activists based in the controversial city of Ahwaz.

Arbitrary arrests increased just as the date of presidential and municipal elections scheduled for mid-May neared.

Ahwazi activists accused Iran authorities of launching brutal and unwarranted wave of arrests targeting dozens of civil rights activists. Circumstances and fate of those detained remain undisclosed, activists said.

Coercion and oppression suffered by activists in Ahwaz need to be put to an end, activists said, urging international organizations to intervene.

The start of 2017 witnessed the largest spree of arrests, with Ahwazi sources reporting over 28 activists taken captive on January 30 alone. Arrests were made in northeastern Ahwaz neighborhood, al-Tabook.

All 28 activists are held in unidentified locations, facing an unknown fate.

“Regional and international conditions, internal rifts within the Iranian government, added to a deteriorating economy have forced the regime towards exercising repression and unlawful arrests against all those deemed ‘offenders,’ critics and activists who are considered of non-Persian heritage in order to curb protests in all regions”, human rights activist Abdul-Karim Khalaf told Asharq Al-Awsat.

The Ahwaz region, occupied by Iran, currently witnesses mass protests and demonstrations demanding freedom and an end to the Iranian regime’s multifaceted oppression of the Ahwazi people.

Tehran’s transgressions against Arabs in Ahwaz have persisted since Iran first occupied the region by the use of military force. Ahwaz was annexed some nine decades ago.

Ahwazi Arabs are among the most brutally oppressed peoples in the Middle East. The population of the region in the south and southwest of Iran totals around 10 million, with the people united by race, culture and language.

Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz (ASMLA) official website, citing Iranian intelligence sources, said that Tehran’s secret service apprehended three Ahwazis, Mahmoud Habib al Shahtawi, 25, Adnan Abbayat, 24, and Lafth Ghawabish, 26—all of whose fate remains unknown until this very day.

More so, Iranian prosecution issued a six-year imprisonment verdict against Deyaa Hussein al Sari, who had recently returned home from the Netherlands. Sari’s conviction was for allegedly promoting ASMLA activities and anti-regime sentiment.

“Escalated arrests over recent months were a result of rising national awareness among Ahwazi Arabs, especially youth,” Ahwazi Organization for Human Rights Defense Director Saeed Humaidan told Asharq Al-Awsat.

“Increased national awareness raised a state of defiance and resistance challenging the colonialist state’s policies and racial discrimination against Arabs– occupying authorities now exert efforts in hopes of inhibiting any decisive uprising through mass arbitrary arrests,” Humaidan added.

“All the more, oppression has only grown fierce under Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s “reformist” administration — despite its electoral campaigns and slogans, it proved to lack in planning and preparation to address worsening conditions non-Persians face, such as racial profiling, discrimination, murder, and imprisonment,” Humaidan said.

Germany Takes to Street against Iran’s Systematic Oppression of Ahwaz

ASMLA protestors leading a demonstration against the Iran regime's oppression of Ahwaz, Asharq Al-AWSAT

Berlin- Freedom activists and supporters for the Ahwaz cause held a mass demonstration against the oppressive Iran regime executions outside the German Parliament in Berlin on Friday. Many multicultural communities joined their call for freedom and human rights.

Yaqoub Hor Al-Tostari wrote that protesters at the demonstration, entitled ‘No to Executions in Ahwaz’, organized by the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz (ASMLA), carried pictures of a few of the Ahwazi activists executed by the regime in recent years, including three resistance fighters from the west of Ahwaz in Hamidieh who were recently killed by the regime.

The demonstrators, including a number of prominent German figures who attended the event to show their solidarity with the Ahwazi people’s long struggle for freedom and dignity, chanted slogans against the Iranian regime and its crimes against the Ahwazi people.

Protesters strongly condemned the Iranian regime’s crimes against the Ahwazi people, saying that these have reached the stage where they should be rightfully classified as crimes against humanity.

Despite the vast natural wealth in Ahwaz which stretches from the Iran-Iraq border to the southwest of Iran, successive Iranian regimes have subjected the Arab people of Ahwaz to brutal apartheid-style racist discrimination and oppression, deliberately maintaining them in conditions of medieval poverty and denying them any share in the wealth from their own lands.

Iranian Pilgrims in Makkah Stand Proof Against Iran Regime Fabrications

Jeddah-Iranian pilgrims who had successfully landed in Saudi Arabia for this year’s Hajj pilgrimage kept on presenting irrefutable evidence on the extent of falsehood blighting the Iran regime.

After the authoritarian regime barring this year’s Hajj pilgrimage, based on political reasons, many citizens residing both in Iran and abroad expressed personal dissuasion against Tehran’s politicization of religious fundamentals.

Hassan Razi, an Ahwazi native visiting Holy Makkah this year, tells Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that many Hajj pilgrims had reacted against the regime’s latest decision.

The regime overlooks the public’s best interest, moreover, its recent Hajj ban clearly repudiates the religion-abiding character the government promotes for itself, said Razi.

He also added that Iranian pilgrims he had met this year showcase definitive awareness that Tehran is the reason behind many aspiring pilgrims being denied this year’s Hajj trip. The cleric-based regime has put impossible conditions next to its refusal to sign the agreements the international Muslim community has conceded to. Iran had pulled out the Hajj page from its political playbook, exploiting it as another desperate move against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Razi added that the public in Iran has split into two camps, one completely enraged by the regime’s wrongdoing and imposition against its own people, denying them their basic religious rights. Whilst the other group is still taken by the regime’s propaganda.

“Regardless, at the end of the day the truth of Saudi Arabia welcoming all pilgrims outshines, Iran’s evident sabotage,” he said.

All Iranians who arrived to Holy Makkah from outside Iran can see for themselves how easy it was to make the trip, explained Razi.

Razi reiterated that the reality of the service pilgrims are being received with negates all what Iranian media had been falsely propagating. He added that all the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s statements are aimed at inciting the public against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Spreading lies, the Iran regime hopes to take down what it deems a main stick in the wheel of Persian expansionist agenda.

Ahwazis Protest in Brussels against Hostile Iranian Occupation

Brussels-The Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz held on Friday a massive demonstration at the gates of the Iranian embassy in the Belgian capital, Brussels.

The take to street is against all hostile Iranian policies and in solidarity with the Ahwazi Arab people, especially denouncing a recent wave of executions in Iran which included three Ahwazi activists.

Arab and foreign activists had attended the two-hour long protest alongside a mass of Ahwazi people.

Demonstrators raised high the Ahwazi national flags and pictures of Ahwazi martyrs and prisoners. They also carried placards expressing the Ahwazi rejection of the Persian occupation, especially recent executions carried out against Kurds, Arabs and others kept in Iranian prisons.

Moreover, the protests shed light on the countless death sentences, coerced displacement of people, arbitrary arrests, forced deprivation of sustenance and education in Ahwaz brought about by Iranian policy.

A statement received by Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper from the demonstration organizers, mentioned how far Iranian policy has gone on the scales of oppression against Ahwazis, and that crimes of genocide are being acted out against the community.

The recent wave of executions witnessed the unwarranted death of 31 Kurdish activists and three other Ahwazis.

The horrendous crimes committed by the Iranian occupation against the people of Ahwaz calls on all humanitarian organizations to answer to a moral calling to stand up in solidarity with non-Persian communities oppressed by Iran and are undergoing slow and painful ethnic cleansing, the statement said.

Demonstrators demanded the world implements international treaties when dealing with a terrorizing Iran that practices various kinds of crimes in occupied Ahwaz and the Arab nation in general.

The crimes Iran commits include executions, assassinations, imprisonment, detention and inciting sectarian sedition between Arab communities by supporting planted terrorist agents.

Far and foremost, in the paper presented, both Ahwazis and others held free people responsible and accountable on acting out faithfully their humanitarian duties on preserving peace and security worldwide, and asked that the international community sides with justice and condemn all of the Iranian occupation’s atrocities committed against the people.

The statement also concluded how imperative it is for the international community to employ influence and full weight on Iran, halting all its detrimental regional interference, such as the case in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

‘Ahwaz Waters’ a Ticking Bomb to Detonate within Iranian Regime Walls

London-Water running through the Iran annexed city of Ahwaz had been transformed into a ticking bomb ready to blow up against the Tehran regime at any given moment.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and many of the government’s agencies continue to refuse shutting down projects on transporting Ahwaz water resources into Iran.

The project proved highly controversial and could enrage the people of Ahwaz.

Warnings were sounded on Friday by the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei representative to Ahwaz Mohammed Ali Jazaeri, who in his Friday speech said that the people of Ahwaz will not permit as much as a single drop being moved out of their lands.

The anger displayed by the Ahwaz public was stirred by the Iranian’s regime continuous push and unwarranted determination to pump Ahwaz waters into Iranian terrain.

Iranian authorities are determined to move in with the project redirecting Ahwaz’s rivers springing from northern areas of the Zagros Mountains into central Iran.

Yaakoub Hor al-Tustari, chief of media department of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Iranian regime always aims to downplay the rage spreading among the people of Ahwaz which is mostly agitated by the occupation-inspired policies they are oppressed by.

The people of Ahwaz are facing policies set by the Iranian regime aiming at diverting their water supply and plundering all territorial resources to the benefit of Persian interest.

For years now, the IRGC, in cooperation with government forces, had been moving ahead with projects like “al Janna al Zahraa” –translates to Zahra’s Paradise – and Gulab ( Rosewater ) 2 which are aimed at drilling up gigantic channels that run through the Zagros Mountains so that the courses of each of the Karun and Karkheh rivers are redirected.

The primary phase of the projects marks an approximate 250 million cubic meters of Karun River’s water to be diverted to Isfahan topography, located about 340 kilometers south of Tehran.

Despite Iranian President Hassan Rouhani claiming to adopt a different approach of that witnessed during the reign of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the projects violating Ahwaz property and resources, instead of being reconsidered, are witnessing unprecedented acceleration.

Al-Tustari confirms that Khamenei’s representative is chiefly responsible for the continued enforcement of occupational policies, and that his viewpoints cannot disagree with that of projects overlooked by the IRGC and other government institutions under Khamenei’s authority.

Liberation of Ahwaz Movement Leader: The Deceive Storm Restored Faith to Our Hearts

Habib Jabr al-Ka’abi
Habib Jabr al-Ka’abi

London- After eight decades passing by, the Ahwaz strive for independence from Iranian occupation confronts several challenges, some of which is the Iranian attempt of removing its Arab identity.
Iran is working on carving out a new nation from Ahwaz, which would speak Farsi, enlist as a purely Shi’ite area and belong to Iranian nationalism.

The upcoming April will witness the transformation of Ahwaz into a military zone with security forces dispersed on maximum alert for the memorial event on the Iranian occupation of Ahwaz.

Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz (ASMLA) led by Habib Jabr al-Ka’abi is considered to be a drastic step in the political suit of Ahwaz gaining back independence from Iran.

With ASMLA emerging, tables turned against the Iranian intelligence inhabiting Ahwaz.
Jabr al-Kaabi told Asharq Al-Awsat that his movement was founded during 1999 and has “contributed greatly in the development of the revolution and breaking the political and media barrier facing the Ahwaz cause for decades now,” he also emphasized several Iranian interventions in the region.

Al- Kaabi noted that Iranian infiltrations have been cut down after the Arab movement against Tehran, and confirmed the Saudi-led Arab coalition dubbed the “Decisive Storm” in Yemen has confused Iranian expansion plans for the region.

Here is a selected set of questions answered by ASMLA leader Jabr al-Kaabi,

How do you read into Iranian intervention in the region?
 We have previously warned on the dangers entailed by the Iranian project for the Arab region, yet no one listened, instead people accused us of exaggerating Iranian aims. However, now, incidents storming the region over the past four years have revealed to the Arab world the truth anchored behind our vision and the vindictive nature of the Iranian project. Awareness had spread after Iran infiltrating four Arab capitals, and thousands of Arabs in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen being killed by Iranian forces.

What are the future expectations held by ASMLA on the Arab-Iranian conflict, and how can it be confronted?

 ASMLA sees that the confrontation with Iranians is inevitable, and it should be approached with effective methods. What Saudi Arabia has done by shedding light on Iran and its proxies like “Hezbollah” is a good proof to that. Isolating Iran from the Islamic body of the region, should be a principal target to the political Arab strategy, the second stage would revolve around taking confrontations into the Persian geographical interior, in which people occupied by Iran are empowered and supported, the people of Ahwaz being one of them.

Are you satisfied with the Arab silence engulfing your case?

 The people of Ahwaz are extremely upset with the Arab silence facing a fair Arab case. Throughout history Ahwaz was considered the eastern gate in which a Persian invasion enters the Arab world. When Ahwaz is subjugated, the Persian occupation will extend into other parts of the Arab world, and this equation has been forgotten by the strategic thought of Arabs.

Bahraini Parliament Seeks Recognition of Ahwaz’s Occupation

40 members of the  parliament agreed on the petition
40 members of the parliament agreed on the petition

40 members of the Bahraini parliament agreed on a petition filed by 5 of their colleagues to the chairman for the recognition of Ahwaz as an occupied Arab country, a Bahraini MP said.

The source stated that the petition calls on considering Ahwaz as one of the Arab countries located east of the Arab homeland, in addition to depicting its people as “Arabs subjected to Iranian occupation”.

Moreover, it accuses Tehran of carrying out acts of aggression in Ahwaz and “taking advantage of the absence of the Arab role in view of regional and international conditions that threaten the nation’s solidarity and attempt to drive it apart.”

MP on Foreign Affairs and National Security Defense, Abdullah bin Howail told Asharq Al-Awsat that the petition reflects the Ahwaz people’s aspirations of being rescued from oppression and injustice inflicted by Iran, for decades now. The action taken represents “a start to voice the Ahwaz people’s opinion to the world, and highlight their suffering from subjugation and exclusion.”

“The daily executions being carried out are based on oppressing provisions that embody Iran’s exposed attempt to frighten the people of Ahwaz away from speaking up and raising legitimate demands, which is what we will be taking upon ourselves persistently and permanently, we will request international movement to give the people of Ahwaz the right to determine their own future”, MP bin Howail added.

There was also the notion of uprooting the natives from their rightful place accompanied with random unjust acts of Iranian settlement, and the imposition of measures benching on stripping Ahwaz from its Arab Identity.
Furthermore measures Iran is imposing prove inhumane and comprise form a stretching variety of executions, arbitrary arrests, and unjust torcher of Ahwaz’s youth.

The parliament’s petition insists on the necessity and duty of Bahrain’s official recognition of Ahwaz as an Arabian country, and for the government to pursue within gulf effort movements towards the recognition of this country.