Separatism in Iran. Will the country's unity destroy internal conflicts?

The examples of Iraq and Syria, whose entire territories are beyond the control of central governments, show that the national and religious problems in the Middle East are extremely serious, and external forces, skillfully playing on interfaith and interethnic contradictions, can ruin large states that yesterday seemed to be very powerful. The problem of separatism, which is relevant for many countries in the region, has not escaped Iran, a regional power, which is not only afraid of its neighbors, but also the West, which imposes all sorts of sanctions on it, but fears a direct clash.


Ethnic Mosaic of Iran

Meanwhile, in Iran there are very significant ethnic contradictions, due to the extremely diverse national composition of the country's population. Where many nations live, there will inevitably arise resentment towards each other. One wants more, others do not want to give up already existing. This is how ethnopolitical conflicts originate and develop, some of which develop into real wars. So far, Iran has been able to prevent the emergence on its territory of such separatist movements that would represent a truly significant danger to the integrity of the Iranian state and the preservation of the current political regime. However, the United States, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, and other ideological and geopolitical rivals of Iran very much hope that they will succeed in splitting the Iranian state, primarily through the support of separatist movements. Multi-ethnicity is always interesting, but not always politically secure. So it is in the case of Iran. 78 408 412 people live in the country (2015 data). It is one of the largest populations of the countries of South-West Asia. Among the countries of the world in terms of population, Iran is ranked seventeenth, which is also, in general, quite a lot. Iranians are a political nation, that is, an artificial construct that has been formed over the years of the Iranian state.

Separatism in Iran. Will the country's unity destroy internal conflicts?


In fact, the population of the country consists of dozens of different peoples and ethnic groups belonging to different language families and professing different directions of Islam, as well as Christianity, Zoroastrianism, and even Judaism. The ethnic basis of the Iranians is the Persians. However, there are only about half of the total population of the country (according to various sources - from about 40 to 60% of the population). It was the Persians who for thousands of years made the main contribution to the creation and development of Iranian culture and statehood. The Iranian official language Farsi (Iranian group of the Indo-European family of languages) is the language of the Persians, which, however, is understandable to almost all other Iranians. However, as we see, the Persians never constituted the absolute majority of the population of the country. Therefore, the other largest peoples of Iran, besides having their own territories of compact residence, have repeatedly attempted to secession, declare independence, even though their representatives also made no less than the Persians contribution to the creation of a single Iranian state. The second largest after Persian people of Iran are Iranian Azeris, who make up from 16 to 40% of the country's population. They inhabit the so-called. Iranian Azerbaijan - the north-western regions of the country. Another large nation is the Kurds living in Iranian Kurdistan and ranging from 5 to 10% of the population. Talyshs, Gilians, and Mazendarans, the Iranian-speaking ethnic groups, gradually assimilated by the Persians and constitute up to 7% of the total population of the country, inhabit the southern coast of the Caspian Sea. In the south-east of the country, the vast desert lands of Baluchistan inhabit the Baluchs; in the south-west, on the border with Iraq, Arabs live. In addition, other nations live in Iran. The Iranian-speaking people include the Lurs and Bakhtiars living in the south-west of the country, as well as the Charaymaks. By the Türkic-speaking - the Turkmen of Northeastern Iran, the Kashkays, the less numerous tribes of Karaya, Karagozlu, Taymurtash, Hamsa. In addition, a significant number of Assyrians, Armenians, Georgians and even a small group of the Jewish population live in Iran. Finally, an ethnoconfessional group stands out within Persians, preserving Zoroastrianism as a religion - these are the hebra.

Among the peoples of Iran, who are potentially capable of separatism and have repeatedly declared their desire for autonomy, or even to achieve full political independence, one can list Azerbaijanis, Kurds, Baluchis and Arabs of Khuzestan. These peoples have the most distinct identity, their own rich historyand, most importantly, they all have fellow tribesmen in other states with whom they expect to connect. The history of Iran in the twentieth century was very turbulent and repeatedly provided the people of the country with the opportunity to declare their aspirations for independence and even to create virtually independent state formations (although they did not exist for long - these were the Gilyan Soviet Republic, the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan, the Mekhabad Republic). The separatism of the Iranian peoples was supported by external forces - the Soviet Union, Britain, Turkey. In turn, the central leadership of Iran, starting with the representatives of the Qajar and Pahlavi shah dynasties and ending with the leadership of the modern Islamic Republic of Iran, has made and is making every effort to overcome the centrifugal tendencies. The most active efforts to unite the peoples of Iran and develop a model of a single Iranian civil identity came to power, General Rezahan Pahlavi, who came to power in 1925 and became the founder of the last dynasty of the Iranian shahs of Pahlavi. Despite the fact that Reza was half Azeri - half Mazendaran, he considered it necessary to form a single Iranian nation on a Persian basis. It was during his rule that the country officially changed its name from Persia to Iran. Under Rezah Shah Pahlavi, bans on learning the native language in schools for representatives of other peoples of Iran also began, as the Shah tried to assimilate all the peoples of the country into a single Iranian nation at an accelerated pace. However, the Shah this task was not under force. On the other hand, Pahlavi’s actions contributed to the intensification of separatist movements, which began to take shape during the reign of the previous Qajar dynasty (by the way, also of Azerbaijani origin, the Qajars were descended from the Turkic Qajar tribe).

Iranian Azerbaijan. Is there a threat of separatism?

The Azeri separatist movement has always been the most serious and numerous in Iran. This is explained by the fact that the Azerbaijanis are the largest in number, after the Persians, the people of Iran, as well as the presence of sovereign Azerbaijan in the neighborhood. However, national liberation attitudes among Iranian Azerbaijanis began to spread even when Northern Azerbaijan was part of the Russian Empire and did not have autonomy, and Southern Azerbaijan was part of Persian shah. By the beginning of the twentieth century. Iranian Azerbaijan was one of the most economically and culturally developed regions of Persia. The Turkic Azerbaijani tribes made an enormous contribution to the formation of Iranian statehood in modern times, standing at the origins of the Safavid and Qajar dynasties. However, by the beginning of the twentieth century. the rejection of the central government’s policy by the Iranian Azerbaijanis was growing, especially since Iranian, or southern Azerbaijan, always maintained close ties with Russia, North Azerbaijan. In the latter, at the beginning of the twentieth century, the revolutionary movement was already widespread. Revolutionary democratic and socialist ideas in Northern Azerbaijan were spread first by the Russian, Armenian and Georgian revolutionaries who worked and lived in Baku. Then, supporters of democratic and socialist transformations began to appear among representatives of the Azerbaijani population. Under the influence of fellow tribesmen from the Russian Empire, the spread of socialist and national liberation ideas began in Iranian Azerbaijan. Since the beginning of the twentieth century. here, rebellions against the Shah's government repeatedly broke out, the largest among which were Sattar Khan’s uprising in 1908 and Sheikh Mohammad Khiabani’s uprising in 1920. The last uprising was more formal. In its process, the Azerbaijan Democratic Party was created, and schooling in Azerbaijani language was introduced on the territory seized by the rebels. Shah's troops managed to suppress both uprisings, but attempts to create the Republic of Azerbaijan on the territory of Northwestern Iran continued. So, in 1945-1946. with the support of the USSR, the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan (DRA) was proclaimed on the territory of Iranian Azerbaijan, at the helm of which were Azerbaijani communists led by Seyed Jafar Pishevari. At that time, the pro-Western shah government stood at the head of Iran and the United States and Great Britain were not interested in supporting the Azerbaijani national movement. On the contrary, they supported the Iranian Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi and put pressure on the Soviet Union, demanding to withdraw troops from the Northern Iran, which were in fact the guarantor of the existence of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan. Soon after the withdrawal of the Soviet troops, the republic really ceased to exist.

For another three decades, the problem of Azerbaijani separatism was not addressed in the West - London and Washington were satisfied with the policy pursued by the Iranian shah. Accordingly, the Azerbaijani national movement remained an enemy of the Shah's regime, which followed the pledged Rezha Pahlavi in ​​1920 - 1930. policy of discrimination of Azerbaijanis. Representatives of the Azerbaijani people tried not to admit to senior positions, education in the Azerbaijani language was absent, and the press in the Azerbaijani language was banned. As a result, it was Azerbaijanis who once again in the twentieth century formed the backbone of the Iranian revolutionary movement - this time under religious slogans. The Azerbaijani youth made up a significant part of the fighters of the Islamic revolution in 1979. However, the victory of the Islamic revolution did not greatly change the situation of Azerbaijanis. And this is despite the fact that the Azerbaijanis were a significant part of the participants in the revolutionary events, and the great Ayatollah Mohammad Kazem Shariatmadari was an Azerbaijani by nationality. After the proclamation of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Azerbaijani language was allowed for use in schools and the media, but autonomy was not granted to Iranian Azerbaijanis. Moreover, the relationship between the two great ayatollahs, Ruhollah Khomeini and Kazem Shariatmadari, which were accompanied by street clashes between Azerbaijani and Persian youth, became seriously complicated. Kazem Shariatmadari was placed under house arrest and was under him until his last days. By suppressing Azerbaijan’s speeches, the new Iranian leadership has turned some of the inhabitants of South Azerbaijan against its policies. At the same time, after turning Iran into one of the main opponents of American and English influence in the Middle East, the United States began to unwind the Azerbaijani theme, trying to play on the Azerbaijani-Persian contradictions.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the emergence of an independent Azerbaijan, those Iranian Azeris who were in favor of sovereignty, or at least wide autonomy, had hope of support from northern tribesmen. Indeed, the first president of an independent Azerbaijan, Abulfaz Elchibey, who was a well-known Azerbaijani nationalist and supporter of Pan-Turkist views, provided full support to the Azerbaijani national movement in neighboring countries, primarily in Iran and Georgia. He considered possible the unification of Azerbaijanis and the creation of a new state as part of all the lands inhabited by Azerbaijanis. They did not abandon certain support of the Azerbaijani national movement in Iran and the subsequent leaders of Azerbaijan. Thus, in March, 2002 in Baku was granted asylum by the leader of the movement for self-determination of Iranian Azerbaijan, Professor Mahmudali Chehragani (in the photo). Numerous attempts by the Iranian leadership to secure the extradition of a politician were in vain, as Chehragani found support and understanding from many prominent Azerbaijani politicians and representatives of culture. However, Chekhragani does not openly advocate secession of Iranian Azerbaijan - he states that it is necessary to turn Iran into a federative state with the separation of South Azerbaijan as a separate unit with clearly defined borders and its own capital.

Of course, the Azerbaijani national movement is of particular interest to the United States, since any activity aimed at weakening the integrity of the Iranian state is welcomed by the American leadership. On the other hand, ideas about the possible prospects of reunification with South Azerbaijan are popular among the part of the nationalist intellectuals in sovereign Azerbaijan. But even more support for the activities of supporters of self-determination of South Azerbaijan is found in the West, where there are a number of organizations created by political emigrants from Iran. Among them are the National Awakening Movement of Southern Azerbaijan, Mahmudali Chekhragani, the South Azerbaijan Independence Party of Salekh Ildirim, the Network of American Azerbaijanis from Iran Farzin Farzad, the National Liberation Front of Southern Azerbaijan and a number of other organizations. In March, 2013 hosted a conference in Baku “The Future of Modern South Azerbaijan”, which discussed political events in the Middle East and Iran, Iran’s relations with the United States and European Union countries, and the possible disintegration of Iran following the example of Syria and Iraq, after which inevitably the question of the future of its Azerbaijani provinces will arise. It is possible, the meeting participants argued that they may in the future become part of Azerbaijan. It is clear that such conferences are held by political forces that do not conceal their anti-Iranian and pro-Western orientation, so it is hardly worth identifying the opinion of their participants with the position of the majority of residents of Iranian Azerbaijan.

A number of analysts are convinced of the exaggeration of the real desire of Iranian Azerbaijanis to self-determination. Iranian Mher Baghdasaryan is convinced that there is no Azerbaijani problem in Iran, since many people from the region hold prominent government posts in Iran. By the way, it should be noted that Rahbar Ayatollah Ali Khamenei himself is Azerbaijani by birth, but he is an unconditional supporter of a single and unitary Islamic Iran, within which every citizen’s national origin is irrelevant. According to Baghdasaryan, even in the event of a question of accession, it is unlikely that Southern Azerbaijan with a population of 30 million people will join North Azerbaijan with a population of 9 million. The director of the Russian Center for the Study of Modern Iran, Rajab Safarov, believes that “nationalist sentiments are being fueled by the West in the Republic of Azerbaijan as well. But they do not find support from Iranian Azerbaijanis. Therefore, if the confrontation begins, and the Republic of Azerbaijan will be involved in anti-Iranian policy, then it is ethnic Azerbaijanis who will become the most ardent defenders of the Islamic Republic ”(quoted in: http://www.panorama.am/). According to the Russian expert, the overwhelming majority of Iranian Azerbaijanis are quite satisfied with their position, and national liberation themes are artificially spun by small groups of engaged politicians, mostly living in emigration in the West and actually working for American and European interests. For separatist propaganda, Azerbaijanis are periodically arrested on the territory of Iran’s own territory, but a significant proportion among them are not so much even residents of Azerbaijani provinces of Iran, but natives of sovereign Azerbaijan.

However, 10 in November 2015. The media reported on mass protests of Iranian Azerbaijanis in a number of cities in the country. According to media reports, on Iranian television channel IRIB there were dialogues insulting Iranian Azerbaijanis. In response, a wave of mass demonstrations and rallies against “bullying Azerbaijanis” on Iran’s national television swept through the provinces of Ardabil, East and West Azerbaijan. The demonstrators chanted slogans against the central government and demanded the country's leadership to harshly suppress any xenophobic propaganda in the country. So, the Azerbaijani issue in modern Iran does exist, although not in such a categorical form, as it is described by the American and European, as well as Turkish and Azerbaijani media.

“Kurdish question” does not lose relevance

The Kurdish problem is much more acute in modern Iran. Despite the fact that the number of Iranian Kurds is incomparable with the Azerbaijani population (Kurds make up 5-10% of the country's population), the Kurdish national liberation movement has always been characterized by heightened militancy and a focus on waging an armed struggle for independence. Kurds live in a number of Iranian provinces, informally called Iranian or Eastern Kurdistan (Northern Kurdistan is part of Turkey, Western Kurdistan is Syria, and Southern Kurdistan is Iraq). The composition of Iranian Kurdistan includes the western and southern parts of the province of Western Azerbaijan, the province of Kurdistan, the province of Kermanshah and Ilam. Throughout the twentieth century, Kurdish separatism was for the Iranian authorities no less serious a problem than Azeri separatism, and at some points in Iranian history a much more serious problem. Even during the First World War, when Persia, which was under the control of the Qajar dynasty that lived its last century, was torn apart by internal contradictions, the Kurdish leader Simko, taking advantage of the current moment, seized power in the area to the west of Lake Urmia and declared himself king. A Kurdish state under Simcoe existed from 1918 to 1922. Around the same time, the Gilani Soviet Republic existed (1920-1921) and Tabriz under the leadership of Mohammed Khiabani (1920). However, in 1921-1922. Persian troops managed to restore order in Iranian Azerbaijan, Gilan and Kurdistan. Simko fled and, until his assassination in 1930, tried to conduct a partisan struggle against the Iranian state. At that time, the Kurdish national movement enjoyed the support of British intelligence, which sought to prevent Germanophilism at the court of the Iranian Shah. During World War II, another Kurdish Sheikh Hama Rashid tried to create his own state in Western Iran, but Iranian forces were able to defeat it, despite the support of the British. The Soviet Union also contributed to the support of the Kurdish national movement in Iran. In 1946, with the support of the USSR, the Mehabad Republic was established. It existed for almost a year - from January 22 to December 16 1946, and although it was formally outside the Soviet occupation zone, it was considered as part of the Soviet sphere of influence in Iran. After the fall of the Mekhabad Republic, the Barzani clan that created it moved to Iraq, where it took a key part in the liberation movement of Iraqi Kurds.



After the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the Kurds, who initially supported the overthrow of the Shah regime, hoped to create their own broad autonomy. However, the Ayatollahs who came to power did not support the idea of ​​Kurdish autonomy. The IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) units were dispatched to Iranian Kurdistan, which clashed with armed units of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan. With the help of the IRGC, it was possible to neutralize the resistance of the radical part of Kurdish nationalists, who advocated the creation of broad autonomy in Iranian Kurdistan, which left the central government, in fact, only questions of national defense and foreign policy relations. Soon the Iran-Iraq war began, in which the Iranian Kurds took part, retreating into Iraqi territory and defending Saddam Hussein’s army. The Iraqi leader in general favored any Iranian opposition - he sheltered both Iraqi Iranian Kurds and Iranian left-wing radical militants. During the Iran-Iraq war, Iranian Kurds established relations with the United States of America, which actively supported Saddam Hussein at that time. The American leadership viewed the Kurdish problem as another trump card in the fight against Islamic Iran, and therefore provided the Kurdish national movement with some support, including informational. The Western media published reports about the struggle for the liberation of Iranian Kurds, respectively, accompanied by criticism of Islamic Iran. Therefore, it is not surprising that for more than thirty years Iran has been considering the “Kurdish problem” as a result of the machinations of the United States and Israel and is extremely negative about any discussions on the situation of Kurds in Iranian Kurdistan.

There are objective reasons for being unhappy with Iranian Kurds. Iranian Kurdistan is one of the most socio-economically backward territories of the country. Distant cattle breeding is still practiced here, and the remnants of the tribal system remain in the social organization of local Kurds. Naturally, the population of Iranian Kurdistan as a whole lives much poorer than residents of more developed regions of the country. In addition, Iranian Kurdistan is characterized by rapid demographic growth, combined with a lack of jobs and the ability to feed the growing population of mountainous provinces. As a result, Kurdish youth join the ranks of seasonal workers and urban unemployed, which contributes to the spread of radical ideas among desperate. With the ideas of autonomy among the Iranian Kurds are hopes for improving the social and economic situation of their home provinces. Meanwhile, the idea of ​​the need to replace police-repressive measures to “pacify” Iranian Kurdistan with programs for its socio-economic and cultural development reached the central Iranian government only during the years of the Khatami’s presidency. At that time, the first elementary schools with instruction in Kurdish and the first newspapers, also published in Kurdish, began to be created in Iranian Kurdistan. An important political measure was the provision of 40 seats in the Mejlis of Iran (from 290 seats) to Iranian Kurds. Given that the defining position in Iranian Kurdistan has always been the traditional tribal nobility, the central government was able to negotiate with those who determined the consciousness of the Kurdish population of the western Iranian provinces. It is likely that after a while the policy of modernizing Iranian Kurdistan would have yielded results and would have led the region to reduce separatist sentiment, but the peaceful course of events in the region was disturbed by the war in neighboring Iraq.

After the emergence of an autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan, which in fact is an independent state entity, the national movement of Iranian Kurds, which received the example of the birth of the first Kurdish state, became active again. The new wave of national liberation attitudes was explained, firstly, by the ambitions of the Kurdish elite, who were trying to create their own state formation on the model of Iraqi Kurdistan, and secondly - by the geopolitical game of the United States of America, which once again relied on the Kurdish movement. It is clear that the Kurds are pursuing a quite understandable task - the creation of their own national state on the lands inhabited by their fellow tribesmen. For the largest “stateless” people of the world, finding one’s own statehood is one of the most important tasks. Another thing is that the United States persistently turns Iranian Kurds into an instrument of subversive activity against Islamic Iran. In itself, the revitalization of the Kurdish movement in Iran can in the long term lead to a destabilization of the situation, at least in the western part of Iran. It is for this purpose that militants of radical organizations penetrate into Iraqi Kurdistan from Iraq. In March, 2006 in Erbil, in Iraq, was established by the United Front of Eastern Kurdistan. The front consisted of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, the Organization of the Struggle of Iranian Kurdistan and the Revolutionary Union of Kurdistan. On the left flank adjacent to the front is the Revolutionary Party of Workers of Kurdistan (Comal). Another organization is the Kurdistan Free Life Party, which also leads the partisan struggle in Iranian territory. The actions of the Kurdish radical organizations led to the beginning of the anti-terrorist operation of the Iranian government forces, conducted by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Iraq, where the main bases and training camps of the Kurdish national liberation movement are located.



Militant Balochi

A troubled situation has developed in the south-eastern part of Iran. The Baluchis live here - one of the largest Iranian-speaking peoples, inhabiting also the adjacent areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Unlike the bulk of the Iranian population, the Baluchis practice Sunni Islam of the Hanafi madhhab. This nation, inhabiting the desert region on the shores of the Arabian Sea, is still distinguished by archaic forms of social organization. However, the Baloch tribes are a real force in this part of Southwest Asia, with which both the Pakistani and Iranian authorities are forced to reckon. As for Afghanistan, the central government is not able to control the peripheral areas inhabited by Baloch tribes at all. The territory of residence of the Baluchi tribes was subordinated to Iran only by 1928, when the forces of Reza Shah Pahlavi managed to suppress the resistance of the Baluchis and take the main centers of the region under formal control. The policy of the Pahlavi dynasty regarding the Baluchis was the same as that of the other peoples of Iran - the central government did its utmost to prevent the national consolidation of the Baluchis and the development of their national identity, for which they continued to support the archaic components of the social organization of the Baluchis. After all, control over a people divided into tribes is facilitated at times. Naturally, at the same time, the socio-economic infrastructure of the territories inhabited by the Baluchs practically did not develop. The province of Sistan-Baluchistan, in which most Iranian Baluchis live, is the largest region of the country in territorial terms, but is located on the periphery of Iran, far from the main economic and cultural centers of the country. Of course, Sistan-Baluchistan is the poorest province of Iran, in which both economic and cultural spheres of life activity are at an extremely low level of development. The border with Pakistan and Afghanistan is practically transparent, since the Iranian troops are not able to provide full-fledged security for the thousand-kilometer frontiers that pass through the most real desert. Naturally, the impoverished province is faced with a number of problems, generated, first of all, by the combination of high birth rates and the lack of jobs and life prospects of Baloch youth.



Since 1948 Balochi are fighting for independence against Pakistan and Iran. Back in the city 1964 The Baluch Liberation Front was created, led by Jumma Khan Baloch, who maintained ties with Arab nationalists who were desperate to destabilize the situation in the then Shah's Iran. The front played an important role in the uprising that broke out in 1968. and lasted until xnumx The uprising spread to both the Iranian and Pakistani parts of Balochistan. В 1968-1973 гг. The front enjoyed the support of Iraq, which remained one of the key opponents of Iran in the Middle East. In fact, it was Iraq in the 1960-th - 1980-s. played a major role in the formation and development of the armed insurgency in the territory of Iranian and Pakistani Baluchistan. In Pakistan, the Baloch rebellion was suppressed in 1977. - and only through a large-scale military operation. During the Iran-Iraq war, Saddam Hussein made repeated attempts to stir up the flames of civil war in the territory of Iranian Balochistan, but he did not succeed, even despite the impressive financial contributions to the organizations of the Baloch separatists. The Iraqi special services supported and sponsored the Baloch autonomist movement led by Abdul Aziz Mollazade. After the end of the Iran-Iraq war, most of the movement’s activists were forced to emigrate from Iran and settle in the countries of the Persian Gulf. On the basis of this organization, the radical Jundalla movement (“Soldiers of God”), also referred to as the Iranian Popular Resistance Movement, subsequently arose. When in 2003 the organization “Jundalla” began to take responsibility for its first actions, its head Abdolmleke Riga was only twenty years old. In 2005 was Jundalli’s militants attacked the motorcade of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who visited Sistan-Baluchistan. During a shootout, one of Ahmadinejad’s bodyguards was killed, and several other officers were injured. 16 March 2006 city Jundalli militants near the village of Tasuki shot an 21 civilian. 14 February 2007 city a car was blown up, which approached a bus in which soldiers of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards were traveling. An 18 man died during the explosion, the 31 man was injured. After that, the Iranian secret services took unprecedented measures to catch terrorists, as a result of which they arrested seventeen-year-old Saeed Kanbarzehi. Despite the minor age, the young man was executed. 17 February 2007 city radicals staged a blast at a girls' school, and 13 Jun 2008 Militants have kidnapped 16 Iranian policemen. All the prisoners were taken to the territory of Pakistan, and then killed. 25th of January 2009 the militants have still massacred 12 by the police. October 18 2009 of the year Dzhundalla conducted a series of explosions in Pishin. As a result of the attacks, several senior and senior officers of the IRGC, including General Nur-Ali Shushtari, commander of the ground forces of the IRGC, and Radjab Ali Mohammadzade, commander of the IRGC troops in the Sistan-Baluchistan ostan, died. 23 February 2010 city Iranian secret services succeeded in arresting leader Jundalli Abdolmalek of Riga. 20th of June 2010 he was executed. In retaliation for the execution of the leader, the militants Jundalli carried out an explosion in the Zahedan cathedral mosque, as a result of which 27 people died.

The activities of the Baluch separatists led the Iranian leadership to a significant increase in security measures in the province of Sistan-Baluchistan. Additional military units of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution were deployed in the region. But, in addition to enhancing security measures, the Iranian government is well aware of the need to act through the "carrot policy". Thus, to attract Baloch youth to the government’s side, a sergeant training center was opened in Zabol, in the province, with the advantage of being received by the Baluchis and Pashtuns. In addition, Iran is considering plans for the development of railway communication through Sistan-Baluchistan. However, in the light of recent developments in the Middle East and the general deterioration of the economic situation in Iran, plans to modernize the Baloch territories may be disrupted. It is possible that the Baluchi groups will join the "Islamic State" (a terrorist organization banned in Russia), at least - the likelihood of such a development of events exists, although it will be harshly suppressed by Iran.

Summing up, it should be noted that separatism is a very real threat not only to national security, but also to the territorial integrity of the Iranian state. Despite the fact that Iran has sufficiently strong armed forces and effective intelligence services, the problems of separatism cannot be solved only by force. The history of the resistance of Azerbaijanis, Kurds, Baluchis and other peoples, dating back not less than a century, is a typical example. In the conditions of socio-economic problems, inequality, cultural backwardness, radical and separatist sentiments spread very quickly, especially in the case of support from the “external actor”, which in the case of Iran clearly remains the United States. With proper support, separatist movements can significantly destabilize the situation in the country, or at least turn areas of residence of national minorities into a field of civil war. However, so far Iran is more or less effectively coping with attempts to kindle a fire of national uprisings on its territory. But the situation in the country, ultimately, very much depends on how events will develop in the Middle East and what will be the final armed confrontation in Syria and Iraq.
Author:
Photos used:
www.turkist.org, http://www.contact.az/, http://riataza.com/,goturist.ru, http://pixanews.com/
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  1. strelets 12 November 2015 06: 38 New
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    The Americans have a lot of options for setting fire to the Middle East and the countries of the former USSR. Only a strong state with a competent domestic policy is not afraid of such plans. The trouble is that there are not many such countries.
  2. Mountain shooter 12 November 2015 07: 01 New
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    How is it not easy for them. A good article adds to the understanding of how important it is to maintain the unity of the country, and how easily enemies can take advantage of the gaps between the peoples of a single state. And the historical reference in the article "adds new knowledge." I knew that our troops were in Northern Iran, but not about the Republic of Azerbaijan on the territory of Iran. Live and learn.
    1. xetai9977 12 November 2015 11: 21 New
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      For almost 800 years, Iran was essentially a Turkic state. Only at the beginning of the 20th century, the Persians began to dominate political life, when, thanks to British intelligence, the officer Rzahan Pahlavi was crowned the throne. Almost everyone in the Azerbaijan Republic has relatives in South Azerbaijan. By the way. Stalin had every opportunity to annex the South to the USSR in 1945. It is said that only atomic blackmail from the United States prevented this plan. Now all the major cities of South Azerbaijan are covered by protests against systematic insults in Tehran MI Azerbaijanis. This is not the first time, by the way. Now in Russia, the Tehran regime is mistakenly considered almost an ally of Moscow. And the Persians throughout history have never been faithful to anyone, and far from always adhered to the agreements reached. In the 70s, Iran was the best friend of the United States in the region. And the entire south of the Caspian was stuffed with electronic tracking stations for the USSR. Now, when the sanctions against them are lifted, relations between the West and Tehran will develop by leaps and bounds. Iranian youth, by the way, are literally crazy on western culture.
      1. Rusich is not from Kiev 12 November 2015 20: 09 New
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        Quote: xetai9977
        .Now in Russia, the Tehran regime is mistakenly considered almost an ally of Moscow.

        No, you're wrong. All politicians in the Russian Federation directly say that Iran is an ally in Syria and against the West only for now. In Russia, they remember and know everything. that Iran / Persia were never allies of Russia.
        Quote: xetai9977
        For almost 800 years, Iran was essentially a Turkic state. Only at the beginning of the 20th century, the Persians began to dominate political life,

        Why was the country called Persia, the language was Farsi and they always fought with Turkey?
        1. xetai9977 12 November 2015 22: 03 New
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          The country was called Persia only in Europe. And in Asia, it has always been Iran. The language of communication between the peoples of Iran was Turkic. The official language, especially during the Safavid Empire and after, was also Turkic. You can see on YouTube a chronicle of the visit of the Shah of Iran Pahlavi to Turkey and a meeting with Ataturk in 1934. Shah speaks Azerbaijani.
          1. Butchcassidy 20 November 2015 12: 48 New
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            Shah speaks "TurkI" and not Azerbaijani.
      2. Butchcassidy 20 November 2015 12: 47 New
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        wink Persians are loyal only to their interests, and rightly so.

        The 1979 Islamic Revolution, by the way, is American history in many respects, because the United States forbade the Shah to suppress speeches and Jimmy Carter said, “We will agree with this guy” (referring to Khomeini).

        How then we agreed, we all know ...
    2. traveler 12 November 2015 11: 25 New
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      normal level of knowledge for local marshals.
      1. traveler 12 November 2015 14: 13 New
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        this is me about:
        Quote: Mountain Shooter
        I knew that our troops were in Northern Iran, but not about the Republic of Azerbaijan on the territory of Iran
      2. Dym71 12 November 2015 16: 07 New
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        Quote: traveler
        normal level of knowledge for local marshals.


        The normal level is when a person is honest, and everything else is a gain! smile

        I built a secret chamber for knowledge,

        There are few secrets that my mind could not comprehend.

        I only know one thing: I don’t know anything!

        Here are my thoughts on the final result.

        Omar Khayyam
  3. gabonskijfront 12 November 2015 07: 22 New
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    I would like to learn more about the role of the Christian community in Iranian society and how Jews feel, I know that the Tehran synagogue is working now. The fate of the Armenians in Iran and their relations with Azerbaijanis is very interesting, as well as about Zaraoostrians.
    1. ilyaros 12 November 2015 08: 15 New
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      Unlike such "democratic" countries and US allies in the Middle East as Saudi Arabia, in Iran, both Christians, Zoroastrians, and even Jews (despite the confrontation with Israel) feel relatively normal (of course, in comparison). Jews even have their representative in the Mejlis, the Jewish community in Iran is the most numerous in Islamic countries (almost all Jews from Arab countries left for Israel in the middle of the 20th century). Armenians have two representatives (in view of the larger number - there are about half a million of them). Gebras (Zoroastrians) also have one representative in the Mejlis and the number is about 40 thousand people.
      1. voyaka uh 12 November 2015 09: 15 New
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        In the 40s, approximately 150,000 Jews lived in Iran.
        Under the Shah (with whom Israel was friends) emigrated 1/3 -
        to the USA and Israel. After the Islamic Revolution, about another
        2 / 3-3 / 4 of the remaining. About 25,000 Jews currently live in Iran.
        1. Boz_canavar 12 November 2015 09: 24 New
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          Quote: voyaka uh
          About 25,000 Jews currently live in Iran.

          It would be better if he cooperated with the Azerbaijani community, together we can give farces on rolls wink Unfortunately, Turkey and Azerbaijan have so far put off this card in the bosom.
          1. xetai9977 12 November 2015 11: 29 New
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            You are right, gardash. Azerbaijanis, unlike Persians and Arabs, were never distinguished by special fanaticism. It would be desirable, of course, for the Turkic countries to more actively defend the rights of their fellow tribesmen in South Azerbaijan, who are systematically infringed on the most basic rights. They do not have the opportunity to study in their native language, they are insulted in the media in the most offensive terms, they even recognize them as a nation, calling them “exiled Persians”
            1. traveler 12 November 2015 14: 10 New
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              Quote: xetai9977
              calling the "abducted Persians"

              this is partly true, because indeed Azerbaijanis were formed as a result of the Turkization of the local pre-Turk population, both of Iranian and Nakh-Dagestan origin.
              on the other hand, it was a very long time ago and is now traced only in anthropology, besides, it is far from the fact that those early medieval, impure Iranians are descendants of Zarathushtra, and not Iranized local pre-Indo-Europeans.
          2. Butchcassidy 20 November 2015 12: 50 New
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            Turkey and Az.R. postponed this card to the sinus for one reason: not to fat - to be alive.
        2. Butchcassidy 20 November 2015 13: 02 New
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          Well, that's what Israel was created for, wasn’t it?
  4. parusnik 12 November 2015 07: 52 New
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    Yeahhhh ... For Americans, work in Iran is not an edge ... there is something to set fire to, what to shatter .. Thank you, Ilya is very interesting ...
  5. Boz_canavar 12 November 2015 09: 19 New
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    30 million ethnic Azerbaijanis live in Iran.
  6. Boz_canavar 12 November 2015 09: 30 New
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    Iranist Mher Baghdasaryan I am convinced that there is no Azerbaijani problem in Iran))) ahaha)) and what will the Armenian write ??? Rajab Safarov, director of the Russian Center for the Study of Modern Iran, is a corrupt rat.
    In Iran, Azerbaijanis have problems above the roof, but fortunately our people wake up, slowly, but still ..
    1. Oprichnik 12 November 2015 14: 43 New
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      And what can you say about the problems of ethnic Azerbaijanis in Azerbaijan itself. Does the head of state solve them or is he more concerned with the welfare of the Kurdish population?
      1. Butchcassidy 20 November 2015 12: 53 New
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        The backbone of the police apparatus is made up of Kurds - there was an interesting video where the police dispersed the rally in Baku, and the commander gave orders in Kurdish.

        In Az.R. in order to create a social base for the ruling regime in the post-Soviet era, more than 100 thousand Kurds from Turkey and Iraq were transported.

        If the problems were solved, then so many people in the markets in Russia and Ukraine would probably not be traded. If it’s good at home, then who will go somewhere to seek a better life? The question is rhetorical.
    2. Rusich is not from Kiev 12 November 2015 20: 15 New
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      By the way, I remember on TV about 10 years ago, like in Tabriz there was a demonstration of several hundred thousand Azerbaijanis, they were dissatisfied with something and walked with the flags of Azerbaijan.
    3. Butchcassidy 20 November 2015 13: 46 New
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      Schnirelman as an expert, too, should not be considered? wassat
  7. Army soldier2 12 November 2015 09: 39 New
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    Iran of the 20th century was a rather weak state both economically, politically, and militarily. The strengthening of the state began with the Islamic revolution. It seems that the danger of the collapse of the state that existed in the 20's and 40's of the last century began to decrease after the 1980 year (and this is against the background of various sanctions over the 35 year). Iran is de facto a theocratic state. In this case, religion acts as a cementing foundation.
    Probably the greatest danger is Kurdish seperatism. And in this matter, opponents (Turkey and Iran) become allies.
    And the article is excellent.
    1. Butchcassidy 20 November 2015 12: 55 New
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      In general, I agree. The only negative, in my opinion, is a small attention paid to ethnic issues, everything is done through a religious prism.
  8. Aslan88 12 November 2015 10: 42 New
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    Well now, in all the major cities of Iran where Azerbaijanis rallies.
    1. traveler 12 November 2015 11: 32 New
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      Azerbaijanis need to decide - the struggle for independence or the struggle to restore their power in Persia.
      but now on the one hand there is a presence in power and business, on the other hand, slogans on posters as in the photo below.
  9. Aslan88 12 November 2015 10: 50 New
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    This is what is happening in Iran now.
    1. Pissarro 12 November 2015 15: 13 New
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      You can immediately see where the ears are growing, normal advocates for the interests of their people will not write slogans in English. Such slogans are intended exclusively for television pictures in the Western media. That is, this is a banal fifth column, whose purpose is in the interests of the West to push Iran into trouble and kindle a fire on our southern borders. I would like to wish success to the Iranian special services in the fight against the maydauns of the Iranian spill
      1. Butchcassidy 20 November 2015 12: 56 New
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        Quote: Pissarro
        You can immediately see where the ears grow, normal fighters for the interests of their people will not write slogans in English.


        +1 bully
  10. knn54 12 November 2015 14: 19 New
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    Export of revolution, CONSTANT testing of new types of weapons, monoparty system. On the other hand, the “moles” in the leadership, the decline in oil prices, the unrest on the outskirts — all this was before the rabbi of the USSR ...
  11. Megatron 12 November 2015 14: 34 New
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    It somehow coincided that a few days ago I spoke with a friend of Azerbaijanis on the topic of southern territories. His answer sounded something like this - that especially in the republic no one needs it, all this reasoning is exaggerated only to earn political points in some part of the population. And that most people are even afraid of such a union, as the southerners are much more religious, they are much more religious and can turn the country into Azerbaijan-Iran. Because modern Azerbaijan is a secular state that wants to live according to the Western model, and not slide into the abyss of religion.
    1. xetai9977 12 November 2015 17: 30 New
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      Dear, believe me, the southerners religiosity is not very different from the northern ones. Azerbaijanis are essentially not very religious. I, a native of Baku, a non-drinker, even a beer, had to sit in Tabriz in the company of drinking southerners, of course illegally))). And so the mentality is not much different.
      1. Megatron 12 November 2015 19: 34 New
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        I have many acquaintances of Azerbaijanis, I respect everyone very much. So, in December they called for a wedding, they said there will be a lot of drinks, they asked you to drink a lot? ))) He promised not to disgrace anyone. laughing
      2. Rusich is not from Kiev 12 November 2015 20: 19 New
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        Does the language between you differ at least in anything?
        1. Boz_canavar 12 November 2015 20: 35 New
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          no, the same language.
        2. xetai9977 12 November 2015 22: 06 New
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          No, nothing, they just have a slightly different dialect, similar to the Nakhchivan dialect
      3. traveler 12 November 2015 20: 48 New
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        I wanted to ask how the Northern Azerbaijanis still perceive the existing Kyzylbysh tribes - Afshars, Shahsevens and other Qashkays, as Azerbaijanis or just as related Turkic peoples?
        and how much tribalism is typical for southern Azerbaijan?
        1. xetai9977 12 November 2015 22: 10 New
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          No, all of them have long been Türks (southerners quite rightly consider themselves to be Türks, and not “Azerbaijanis.” By the way, we too were always “Türks,” until the 30s, when we became “Azerbaijanis” overnight). People remember of what kind they are, but that's all, and even that is not all.
          1. Megatron 12 November 2015 23: 45 New
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            By the way, where is Comrade Erbay gone, his comments were usually very detailed and well understood.
  12. Aslan88 12 November 2015 15: 27 New
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    Quote: Oprichnik
    And what can you say about the problems of ethnic Azerbaijanis in Azerbaijan itself. Does the head of state solve them or is he more concerned with the welfare of the Kurdish population?

    And do the minorities in Azerbaijan have problems? Or is it your fantasies?
    1. Oprichnik 12 November 2015 16: 07 New
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      And the fingers on the hands of the protesters do not represent "V", but satanic horns. And, in general, it is not clear where this happens. And who is holding a rally. One thing is clear - the loot is practiced in staged extras. And you are the same berry field. To begin with, learn to write in Russian correctly. Maybe the site is confused?
      1. Atilag 13 November 2015 09: 15 New
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        Three fingers connected together, two up. Sign of a gray wolf.
    2. Lekxnumx 13 November 2015 04: 37 New
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      YES THERE. I can list! You can’t find more than one cafe, restaurant, or store in the Kusara district with the name in Lezgi, although there are dozens of English brands in Baku with huge banners. There is one Suvar park (holiday), but as the Turkic way is translated, suvar is probably why allowed. The second in Az is not published books in Lezgi for school education which is up to grade 4, but for Russian 400 schools it’s free (I understand the reason). Third, there are direct prohibitions on the performance of a couple of songs, and licenses are withdrawn when performing these songs. then? The head of the House of Culture, Kusarov, Fayd "muellim" found out some of this on his last trip. There are printed editions this is a plus but not many. The number between the two censuses did not increase on paper of course. All prohibitions are not vowels formally there are no prohibitions, but actually in fact, as the Lezghins themselves know. I don’t know about other national minorities.
  13. Aslan88 12 November 2015 17: 14 New
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    Quote: Oprichnik
    And the fingers on the hands of the protesters do not represent "V", but satanic horns. And, in general, it is not clear where this happens. And who is holding a rally. One thing is clear - the loot is practiced in staged extras. And you are the same berry field. To begin with, learn to write in Russian correctly. Maybe the site is confused?

    Yes you are right fingers do not show V it means a wolf. That is a series of wolfs. This shows that you yourself don’t know what. A rally Azerbaijanis in Iran. Because there 2 days ago in the channel the government insulted Azerbaijanis. So don’t carry nonsense please
  14. Oprichnik 13 November 2015 08: 59 New
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    Try to understand! If you defend your rights, the rights of your people, then you must turn to the "offender" in the language of your people or in the language of power. To play along with the Anglo-Saxons means to become their debtor or slave. If a foreign language is imposed on the people, then already in the second generation this people will not be.
    Now about the characters. How many of them were mixed with dirt and distorted in associative perception only in the last 80 years. Examples? I will bring two.
    1. The ancient Vedic symbol-swastika.
    2. Rainbow palette.
    And what you consider a “gray wolf” is simply imposed on your movement from completely different concepts. Open smart books, open your eyes. Well, you cannot blindly follow who your people are leading to the slaughter. Who "gave" this gesture to you, sort it out yourself. (Do not defame a noble predator).
    Is everything without problems with Azerbaijan? There is already a second generation of ethnic Kurds in power. Didn't you know that? Now from the Kurds of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Turkey, overseas puppeteers will sculpt another wall-beat machine, that all these countries will turn into a long-playing boiling cauldron. And your people will fall into it for kindling. We must finally turn on the brain!
    1. Atilag 14 November 2015 15: 20 New
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      It’s better to tell how the Rodnovers appeared in Russia? And who "imposed" paganism, so to speak, raised the dead man from the grave. ??
  15. Butchcassidy 20 November 2015 11: 40 New
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    I read the article and that's what I think about it.

    The issue of the identity of the majority of the Turkic-speaking population of Iranian stops Western and Eastern Azerbaijan (hereinafter - Iranian Azerbaijan) with Azerbaijanis (formerly - мусульмане(a confessional ethnonym used so far) Caucasian Tatars, Transcaucasian Turks etc.) The Republic of Azerbaijan is the subject of political speculation. The basis for this is the common language, which in certain periods of the history of Iran had a privileged status. The Republic of Azerbaijan is a Turkish geopolitical project implemented as part of the Iran-Turan regional confrontation during the First World War with the bayonets of General Nuri Pasha with the goal of tearing away from the Iranian civilizational and geopolitical core populated by Turkic-speaking Persians or Iranians of Iran. The Turkic language, which is the state language in the Republic of Azerbaijan, is the home language of many Iranians, including the Iranian elite. It’s probably enough to mention rahbara Islamic Republic of Iran Ali Khamenei. The ethnonym "Azerbaijanis" in relation to the Turkic population of the Azerbaijan SSR was artificially introduced in Soviet historiography in the 30s of the twentieth century. for political reasons, similar to the goals of Turkey, but aimed at breaking the indicated stop in the direction of the USSR. If we turn to TSB before the 30s, instead of the word “Azerbaijanis”, the confessional ethnonym “Muslims” is described, and the language, respectively, is also “Muslim”. Information is easily verifiable if desired.

    If you talk with the Turkic-speaking population in Iranian Azerbaijan, then you will never hear about any “North” (in relation to the northern neighbor or “South” (in relation to yourself) Azerbaijan from local residents, only the Republic of Azerbaijan (that’s exactly the way it is always) and Azerbaijan itself. This is normal and correct, because in no other way as Arran and Shirvan most of the modern Azerbaijan Republic was never called, including during the time of joining Iran. As well as the Persians, whose home language TurkI appears (emphasis on the last syllable) never identified itself with the population of Az.R. Even Zia Buniyatov, the author of revisionist concepts in the history of Soviet Azerbaijan, which many regard as outright falsification, said, having visited Iran that “one language” has not yet means "one people."

    This is confirmed by the fact that during the war in Nagorno-Karabakh, not a single Turkic-speaking Persian from Iran fought on the side of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Volunteers were only from Dagestan, Chechnya and, of course, Turkey.

    Therefore, the use of the terms "North and South Azerbaijan", "North and South Azerbaijanis" is unlawful and politically biased.