WRITTEN BY RAHIM HAMID*
A delegation from the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz confirmed “that the Ahwazi cause is the real weakness of Iran, if it were recognized as a state that is occupied by Iran, it would be a fatal blow to the Iranian regime’s back and all Iranian interference in the internal affairs of the region. They explained that “the Persians’ own space is less than half of Iran, and the rest belongs to a variety of components of Arabs of Ahwaz, Turks of Azerbaijan, Baluch of Baluchistan and Kurds of Kurdistan, and this is yet further proof of the weakness of Iran. During the seminar that is entitled “Mechanisms for recognition of the state of Ahwaz”, which was held yesterday in the presence of a number of Bahraini deputies, the delegation of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz said, “Arab states realize the weakness of Iran, we do not know why they do not want to take advantage of these points, the Council of the Bahraini House of Representatives has made a great proposal that is to recognize Ahwaz as an independent state, and we hope that the rest of the parliaments of the Arab States follow this step to recognize our cause of Ahwaz, and we will explore ways of implementing the initiative launched by the Council of Representatives of Bahrain. ”
According to sources, the deputies will discuss in the coming days with a delegation of Ahwaz a variety of mechanisms to implement the former parliamentary proposal to recognize the State of Ahwaz, and how to reintroduce it in the House of Representatives again.”
The Bahraini deputies, in their proposal, stressed that Bahrain is the first to support the right of Ahwaz and support the right of this people to defend itself, they stressed the just cause of Ahwazi freedom and announced upcoming initiatives to internationalize it. Raising the proposal by the House of Representatives to demand recognition of Ahwaz as an occupied Arab state has been attacked by the Iranian media, accusing the Kingdom of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia of attempts to destabilise the national security of the country following the memorandum submitted by the Bahraini House of Representatives to the Parliament in order to recognize it as an occupied Arab state and should support it by every legal means in all levels, not only politically but also in the human rights area and through the media.
MP Issa Turki said the issue of Ahwaz is an Arab cause that has been forgotten, and this term will change after the mobility of Ahwazis, it is a human rights issue par excellence, and requires us to provide support and assistance to this just cause, especially in the international circles, so that we can be the voice of this issue calling on the Arab League to adopt the cause of Ahwaz based on the principles of justice and humanity that is consistent with the legal principles enshrined in international law.
For his part, Chairman of the Human Rights Committee MP Mohammed Almarafi said, addressing himself to Ahwazis, “Your cause is the cause of all the Arabs, we will support you to give this issue all the legitimate channels through Gulf Cooperation Council, the Arab League, and the United Nations Council”, and he emphasized the granting of the Ahwazi Arab people of their rights and rejecting what is practiced on them as unspeakable abuses. “We call on the international community to take notice of Ahwazi human rights, this situation affects international peace, and the Kingdom of Bahrain is a forerunner in taking into account all rights of peoples, and Ahwaz was, in fact, a state and we support them in order so that their state is returned, and every human being who has the power to support it should exercise all kinds of pressure on the Iranian regime, making the Ahwazi case a core issue.
As former MP Nasser Al Fadhala said, “It is beautiful to see the House of Representatives of Bahrain welcoming the case of Ahwazi Arabs in an unprecedented way. We spent years in support of the Ahwazi, and it has been our wish to hold a conference for Ahwazis in Bahrain, and the House of Representatives can provide high moral support to the political elite of Ahwaz.”
Two members of the Executive Committee of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz, during the seminar said that approximately one-third of Iran’s waters and more than 95% of the oil and gas claimed by Iran is located in Ahwaz, also Ahwaz includes agricultural wealth in the palm dates, wheat, barley, corn, sugarcane, citrus and vegetables, mineral iron, mercury resources. He explained that the Ahwazi oil is the lightest oil in the world and is used in many industries. The independence of Ahwaz will transform Iran into a weak state. They added that the Ahwaz population ranges between 10 and 12 million and is rising. There have been 12 popular uprisings since 1925 against the Iranian occupation and they have given many martyrs for the return of Arab sovereignty of Ahwaz, showing the world, despite all media blackout and global lack of attention, that the Arab people did not kneel to the occupation.
They added that Iranian violations in Ahwaz are countless, most notably the executions in the streets and that is not limited to men but includes women and children, as well as mass arrests, unfair courts, and dissemination of drug. There is denial of employment to Ahwazis, as well as the Ahwazi environment being destroyed by building dams on the rivers Ahwazi, diverting its waters into the depth of the Persian provinces, and this criminality against Ahwazi people, has resulted in the draining of the marshes. The regime not only confiscates Ahwazi lands, but they began to demolish Ahwazi homes, preventing the people from learning the Arabic language and imposing the Persian language. There has been a ban placed on the wearing of traditional clothing in regime institutions, preventing the naming of children with Arab names and the changing of the names of all Ahwazi Arab places into Persian. Towns have been built for settlers with full support for them, giving them the jobs denied to Arabs. This is to bring about demographic change to the Ahwazi areas. There are also common criminal activities against the people, such as shooting at civilians and many other crimes that need seminars to shed light on them.
The members of the Executive Committee of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz, during the seminar, displayed clips of the torture of children and prisoners practiced by the Iranian regime against Ahwazis, surprising the attendees at how the Iranian regime advocates human rights in Bahrain, which commits all these crimes in Ahwaz.
They said, “Resistance of Ahwazis, after 3 months of occupation, started and continued through several methods such as of adherence to Arabic language and holding seminars and organizing demonstrations and protests in Ahwaz, and demonstrations in the Diaspora, there are many revolutions that broke out on Ahwazi land, but with great regret, the media blackout dealt a painful blow to our struggle and that is why people have heard little about the Ahwazi plight that is a human rights cause deserving of all the world’s support and solidarity.
The delegation said Iran has an expansionist project, as the region will not see peace and security, but should create a deterrent project to Iranian expansionism, which was started from the days of the Shah, but now it is wearing the clothes of religion, starting from the rule of Khomeini, so with the Liberation of Ahwaz, Iran would lose the current means for the success of its expansion, all its oil from Ahwaz to destabilize the Arab countries. The Ahwazi people, for 91 years under oppression, had to move to European countries to hold demonstrations , seminars, fund human rights organizations and start political movements and media outlets in Europe with the aim of moving the Western media.”
The Bahraini deputies stated they know the history of Al-Ahwaz and violations that the people are suffering and their stolen nation, their human rights denied, and this increases their belief in justice, as Ahwaz is a continuation of the Elam civilization period that lasted for 7000 years, stretching from Iraqi Basra to the Strait of Hormuz, an area of 375,000 km, which includes many Arab cities, the most important are Abadan and Mohammerah, Ahwaz and Bushehr.
*Ahwazi Human Rights activist and freelance journalist based in the United States