Why Iran’s ethnic minorities boycott presidential election?
Araz News: On May 19, Iran’s mullahs will elect the nation’s next president. While Iran’s president has executive authority, his power remains secondary to that of the supreme leader, Ali Khamenei. Even with that curious arrangement, it’s not a done deal until Khamenei can solve a major riddle to ensure that his favorite candidate wins at the ballot box.
Throughout this presidential election, Khamenei faces different dilemmas, because the vast majority of Iranians reject the six hand-picked candidates for the presidential election and call it a sham. So, by fair means or foul, the mullahs will get what they want, but the role and dilemma of ethnic minorities in Iranian society is an important parameter to consider in this vote. Minorities such as Arab, Baluch, Kurd, Lor, Turk, and Turkmen make up almost 50% of the population and inhabit about 70% of Iran’s land mass. Iran’s ethnic minorities have been heavily ignored and marginalized by the theocratic government.
Economic and political issues have proven effective at mobilizing ethnic minorities. In the past year, both Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (known by its initials IRGC) and the Basij units have conducted large-scale military exercises in Baluchistan, the southeastern province in Iran, and in the city of Ahwaz in Khuzestan, an oil-rich province. The IRGC has also been linked to drug traffickers’ gangs to smuggle opium from Iran through the ethnic minorities’ areas, especially Baluchistan, bringing havoc to those areas.
During the last three months, IRGC ground forces and security forces frequently have come under fire by ethnic minority insurgents.Anti-Iranian demonstrations quickly spread to Turkey and Azerbaijan where people took to the streets to denounce continuous discrimination toward the Azeri community of Iran where violation of minority rights is a common problem according to human rights organizations.
According to UNPO:Balochs are living in Sistan and Baluchistan, This desert province is marked with despondence and deprivation, grapples with severe water shortage, and underdeveloped infrastructure and poorest of Iran’s provinces.
Ethnic minorities are predominantly Sunni Muslims, and as a result of that, are systematically prosecuted by repressive ground forces of Iran’s revolutionary guard’s corps (IRGC) and Iran’s ministry of intelligence. Iran frequently blames ethnic minorities hostile dependent on outside powers, but this hollow blames is just to cover up the regime’s violation of human rights and aggressive attack of IRGC in their province who fears their unity and steadfastness among them. The country has not allowed ethnic minorities to teach or study in their own languages in schools, and non-Persian language press and publications have been very limited.
The rate of executions increased in ethnic minorities in last decades. The Iran Human Rights Documentation Center documented 529 executions of whom 100 were Baloch, who only constitute about 2% of the population.
Regime sent at least 12 prisoners to gallows in various cities across Iran in the six days from February 25 to March 2, raising the number of the executions to at least 150 since the beginning of 2014.
Balochi’s showed their grievances and anger in the short stories written by authors Balochis, Brahvi, and Pashto, Some of the stories bring up haunting images and situations: “An ageing woman returns to her ancestral village and finds it transformed after the nuclear tests” or “A young man wants to take his ailing sister to the nearest hospital”, “A young woman finds the legendary ‘injeer” flower and sacrifices her feelings to keep the flour bin full”. “Is there no hope of conditions improving?”
ıt should be noted that, South Azerbaijan people face with highly discrimination by regime and report shows that insult and discrimination are increasing day by day in that region.
for example :In 2006, scores of people were killed and wounded when violent demonstrations broke out in Iran after a state-run newspaper published a cartoon depicting South Azerbaijani as cockroaches. The Azerbaijani community had also staged protests in August 2011 after Urmia Lake, located in an area with a high concentration of South Azerbaijan, dried up, dealing a blow to South Azerbaijani farmers. They have accused the government of ignoring the locals by not taking steps to prevent drought.
Moreover ,Iranian president Mr. Rouhani during his election campaign Promised full implementation of Article 15 of the constitution and establishing the Academy of Turkish language for people of South Azerbaijan. However. None of them has not acted so far today. This caused dissatisfaction for the people of South Azerbaijan.A a result of these fact South Azerbaijan people do not trust any more to the new president selection.
South Azerbaijani Turkic nations , Balochi’s nation , Al-Ahwaz Arab nation, Kurd nation and other ethnics in Iran decided boycotting presidential election , these nations will deliver a clear message to the world and Iran regime about their will and unity against Iran regime that continues to violate their basic human right , education in their mother language .