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Iran’s Repressed, Restive Arabs

Aaron Eitan Meyer, a lawyer and former research director for the Lawfare Project, joined Conservative Casual Friday show host Andrew E. Harrod to discuss Iran’s Arab minority, the Ahwaz, who live in Iran’s Khuzestan province, the source of almost all of the country’s oil.  As Meyer has analyzed at the Canadian-based Dur Untash Studies Centre (DUSC) and elsewhere, the Ahwaz are an Arabic, largely Shiite population related to the neighboring Shiite Arabs who live across the Iran-Iraq border in Iraq.  Although the Ahwaz enjoyed limited autonomy under the 1847 Treaty of Erzerum between the Persian and the Ottoman Empires, the former Iranian monarchy of Reza Shah Pahlavi imposed full Iranian rule over the Ahwaz in 1925.  Ever since, the Ahwaz have confronted Iranian assimilation efforts to erase Ahwaz Arabic culture in a strategically sensitive region, particularly since Iran’s brutal Islamic Republic took power in 1979.  Among other matters, Meyer analyzed Ahwaz history, Iranian repression of the Ahwaz, their violent and nonviolent responses, and what possible future Khuzestan could have.

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