Farzin Farzad

Farzin Farzad (Association for the Defense of Azerbaijani Political Prisoners in Iran - ADAPP): Farzin is a native Azerbaijani speaker who spent the early years of his life in Iran and Turkey. He graduated in 2005 with a B.A. in political science from McDaniel College with a concentration in international studies and a minor in cross-cultural studies. He then went on to earn a graduate degree in International Affairs from American University in December of 2008. His regional focus was the Middle East, particularly Iranian security. During his undergraduate and graduate studies, Farzin held positions in research and analysis with professors at Johns Hopkins SAIS and Columbia University. As a research intern at the East-West Center, he researched for and helped edit a book on nuclear weapons security in Asia. During the summer of his graduate program, Farzin studied the political history of the Gulf States at the University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. After his fellowship, Farzin wrote: “Ironically, I am more assertive person. Being a 'Peace' Fellow toughened me up.”

Ethnologue quick update

04 Aug

One of the activists recently pointed out that Ethnologue had changed it’s figures:


On the above link, Ethnologue shows Azerbaijanis at 23.5 million in Iran. This is the former entry.


The above link is the current page which shows roughly 11.2 million.

Posted By Farzin Farzad

Posted Aug 4th, 2009


  • Dontthinkso

    August 5, 2009


    So what?

    Look at the 13th edition
    Ethnologue’s Azeri figure now has a source unlike the 15th edition and despite the letters of Zamani, Asgharzadeh and the rest of pan-Turk gang,
    they simply looked at other sources and fixed their numbers to what is realistic with regards to Azeris.

    So in reality given Irans current population, the days of any pan-Turkism and Turkish influence in Iran is over. Iran is about 76-80% Iranic speaking. Pan-Turks were cherry picking one source over many, but the reality on the ground it not to their liking.

    The 11.6 million is still optimistic because there is only 7 million Azeris in East Azerbaijan, Ardabil, Zanjan and half of West Azerbaijan. 4.6 million Azeris outside of this region is only possibly if you count the Azeris in Tehran who intermarry with other Iranians and are heavily Persianized.

    Some “activist” obviously had given them wrong information for the 14th, 15th edition..as mentioned here:

    And it just took a simple letter from Mr. Mazdak Bamdadan enquiring about their number to fix it.

  • Farzin

    August 5, 2009


    A simple letter cannot be the case. Persian Scholars (and i use the term loosely) have been trying for a long while to reduce the number of Azerbaijanis in Iran. I was just merely exposing that Ethnologue changed its figures recently in my argument with Yek Irani.

    But anyway, if it just took a “simple letter”, then Ethnologue is not a credible source. Thank you for letting us know that so we will not use Ethnologue for scholarly work.

    Finally, it is quite convenient for Kaveh Farrokh and others who participate in Iranica to use the term pan-Turk to describe anyone who wants linguistic and cultural rights for Azerbaijanis. It is the same as labeling civil rights activists in the 50s, 60s and 70s as communists. You sir, are equivalent to McCarthy.

    In the words of my favorite rappers, “Haters will hate.”

  • Ali

    August 8, 2009


    Dear Farzin,
    I see the regular enemies of the free speech are set against you. Worry not, for this is a sign that you’re on the right track. Your purpose here is to be a voice for the voiceless, and you can’t find any people more voiceless than Iran’s Azeri-Turks. Individuals like Dr Kaveh Farrokh and the rest of his gang represent the voice of the dominant Persian group in Iran and abroad. Just don’t let their dominant voices to silence you and other human rights activists. Regarding the population size of Iran’s Azerbaijani Turks, please see a most objective account that Ahmad Kasravi has given in 1922 (al-`Irfan, vol. 8, no. 2, November 1922, pp.121-23). In this objective study, Kasravi firmly leans towards the view that the number of Turks is higher than the number of Persians. Now this is an important source because Ahmad Kasravi happens to be a major prophet of Aryanist racism and Pan-Iranism. They quote him everywhere right and left, except for this excellent article in al-Irfan that Kasravi wrote in Arabic, comparing the situation of Turks with Persians in Iran. Here is a direct quote:
    “It is difficult to decide these days whether there are more Turks than Persians. This can only be decided after a census is taken which distinguishes Turks from Persians, but the Iranian government has not to this day conducted such a census of its citizens or the population of its provinces, let alone distinguish Persian from Turk. His estimation generally inclines the author to the belief that the majority are Turks, but we will not speculate idly, but stick to the research we have conducted which we present below, with general and approximate figures.”
    The whole article is available here:
    Keep up the good work,

  • Yek Irani

    August 9, 2009


    Very funny. So Britannica, ethnologue, CIA factbook, World Atlas, MSN Encarta are all Persian sources. Can you tell me which “Persian scholar” has downplayed the number of Azeris? Is Brenda Shaffer whom is a prophet of pan-Turkists an Aryanist or Persian?

    Ethnologue’s 11.2 million is reliable as it has actually quoted a source in its 16th edition (Johanson). Something it has not done in 15th,14th,13th,12th editions..And the letter produced by the likes of Zamani, Asgharzadeh, Beraheni and ethnologue’s ignoring of this letter is a major blow to Turkish nationalists masquerading as “human rights activists”.

    As per what Mr. Ali said, Kasravi gives no verdict and says a more detailed study is needed. However what Kasravi wrote is from 1922! Not 2009. In 1890 there was a census done by Russians and the number of Iran’s population was 6 million and about 1.3 million were Tatars+Turkomen (Turkic speakers). Also Kasravi is not pan-Iranist prophet or Aryanist or such nonsense. Azerbaijani Iranians are not oppressed in Iran like Sunnis or etc., they are actually oppressing Iranians via Khamaenei (although iranians are not racist to point this out unlike Zamani and Asgharzadeh and etc.)

    Iran’s population is now 70 million. Regions were Azeri-Turkic is over a 90% majority are Zanjan, East Azerbaijan and Ardabil.
    In West Azerbaijan one can guesstimate at most 50%. This makes 7 million people for these four regions.

    One can estimate at most 4-5 million outside of these regions. If you say Turkomens, Qashqais, and Khorasani Turks and various Turkic speakers in Iran, you will get at most another 2 million. So you are talking about at most 20% of Irans population. This is confirmed with actual statistics done in Iran.

    Funny thing is that Zamani, Asgharzadeh and etc. all have quoted ethnologue 15th edition and they lobbied it to keep false numbers. In their letter, they had no proof except the usual “Persian chavaunism”, “we want human rights” and etc. That is nothing scientific but just an emotional baggage. But when one or two Iranians enquired where ethnologue got its 15th edition number, ethnologue said it was done through consultation with some guy they could not found. So they did a systematic study and they arrived at 11.2 million.

    So now pan-Turkists like Mr. Asgharzadei/Zamani will need to go back and say use a unsubstantiated 1922 article where the author himself is not sure! But the year is not 1922 but 2009. If we want to go back, then we can say in 1000 A.D. there was say no Turks in Iran, so we should use that census. So one needs to get with the time. 2009 and provincial statistics as well as different statistics are available. One can call them “Persian statistics” if they are ethnic nationalist Turks masquarading as human rights activits, or one can be objective.

    As a proud Kermanshahi/Shomali I am proud that the Pahlavids put an end to Turkic domination of Iran where a small invading minority was ruling a majority Iranic country and imposing its language/culture on a historical Iranic region of Azerbaijan and the rest of Iran. This is the major reasons why Turkish nationalists in Iran do not like Iranians as their rule has ended. Their false claim to being 35 or 40 or 45 million is to simply take control of Iran, but these claims hold no water. This has not come down well with Turkish ethno-nationalist and they will use any cover including “human rights” to undo what cannot be undone, which is Iran now is about 76-80% Iranic speaking country. For the most part, the problem of Turkish nationalist with Iran is historical. They have a problem with Persia/Iran/Iranics not only in Iran, but in Turkey, republic of Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and etc. Jut like they have a problem with Armenians, Greeks and etc. But even these Turkish nationalists cannot attract the bulk of Azerbaijani population of Iran simply because Azerbaijanis are the most successful in terms of economy, military and having positions in government. Once there is a real reasonable Iranian government in Iran (when that happens), then Iran can push back at Turkish nationalism in the region via Armenia, Greece, Kurdistan and etc. So it seems that such a rivarly will be going on and one aspect of it is Turkish created groups masquarading as human rights activists which will not have much an effect in this rivarly.

Enter your Comment


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *