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.”

Quick Update

16 Jul

Last week I wrote about the arrest of Said Matinpour.Well today we are receiving word that a few Azerbaijani activists organized to show their respects to Said Matinpour’s mother and father. When they called and text messaged each other, the Intelligence Ministry tapped their lines.

After visiting Matinpour’s parents, Ettelaat (as they are known within Iran) went to arrest the activists. Those arrested were Rauf Taheri (he is officially missing but it is highly probably that he is detained), Riza Abbasi and Ahmad Midadi. Intelligence officials also detained Matinpour’s parents for allowing Azerbaijani activists to enter their home. This is the foul and despicable behavior that is the control apparatus of the Iranian state.


I am getting word from my own sources that 2 people died in Sanandaj two nights ago, which is in the Kurdish area of Iran.  I will continue to update this as I receive more information.

Posted By Farzin Farzad

Posted Jul 16th, 2009


  • Farzin

    July 16, 2009


    Matinpour’s parents were freed but the 3 activists, the first one of which is his brother-in-law, are still in prison.

  • mansour

    July 18, 2009


    farzin,do you think it is right to seperate from iran ?as iranian azeri im not sure yet if thats what i want because i feel im iranian,but with all that problems i think there are only 2 solutions.one is to go on like this,the other is to unite with republic of azerbaijan(which i see the ppl from there are very diffrent from culture) ive good friends from baku.

    what can we think about in future ? sorry for my bad english,im from german


  • Yek Irani

    July 19, 2009


    Your weblog in my humble opinion is essentially promoting pan-Turkism under the guise of “human rights”. A very well known technique by now used by many groups. But I give you credit for being polite and mannered.

    You know there are dozes of pan-Turkic vulgar weblogs who curse at other Iranians, Armenians, Kurds and etc.
    I am Shomali/Kermanshahi and I do not consider myself minority. I am proud to be Persian/Iranian. However I had some points to raise.

    I do not know if the 20% Iranian Azeris see themselves as a minority, but they have been well represented in politics in Iran. Obviously not all Azeris agree with you.

    Note I get the 20% because ethnologue (2009) says 11.6 million and this actual census states around 21.6%:

    11.6 million based on 2001. 1.2 mil (Ardabil)+3.6 mil (East Azerbaijan)+1.5 mil (West Azerbaijan note half or proably more is Kurdish)+Zanjan (1 mil). That makes 7.3 million. If we assume 3-4 million Azeris in Tehran (and you know most of them are Tehranis and would not agree with such concepts as this website) and 1-2 million elsewhere (an upperbound for regions such as Gilan, Mazandaran, Arak, Hamadan, Qazvin where there are Azeri minorities) , we get close to 12-14 million.

    So you say 50% of Iranians are minorities. That is not true if you consider Azeris a “minority” (Shi’a Muslims are not minorities in the Islamic republic). It would be more like 30-35% are “linguistic minorities” in Iran. Note in the census I brought, 100% of Iranians can speak Persian today and 20% say they understand Azeri. So te fact that all Iranians can understand one language helps communications in Iran and progress.

    The language issues, this was not an issue 100 years ago, since Persian was chosen as the official language by the constitutional revolution. Minority languages in Iran are not banned. They are simply not thought in elementary school. That is no different than many countries. But they have university courses, t.v.’s, magazines and etc. The traditional schooling system in the Qajar era only had Persian and Arabic. And the system pretty much follows tha trend. So to say Azeri is banned is an outright lie. It is simply not thought in the elemntary level. Much like Turkish is not thought in German schools or Spanish in English schools in the elemntary level. The negative attitude towards Turkish language was in large part due to irredentist concepts coming from the Ottoman empire and the head of these negative attitudes were Azerbaijanis like Kasrawi, Taqi Arrani, Kazemzadeh Iranshahr, Afshars and etc.
    Have you considered this issue?

    Do you think with 20 million Kurds in Turkey, 1 million Talysh in the country of Azerbaijan and etc., Iran should also seek pan-Iranism? I mean 76-80% of the population of Iran speaks closely related Iranian languages. If Uighyur is 20% close to Azeri, then Kurdish is at least 50% the same vocabulary with Persian. Its core basic vocabulary is about 80% the same.

    Now here is why I think your website promotes pan-Turkism under the guise of Human Rights.

    A) The cartoon issue has no insults and you are being dishonest.

    You know well nama and sanana are every day words used in Tehran.


    You protest for Uighyurs in China. Why not for Kurds in Turkey or Talysh in Arran or Tajiks in Uzbekistan or etc? Thus you protest for Uighyurs because as you say 20-30% of the words they use are related to Turkic of Azerbaijan (which may or may not be true).

    Okay so 50-60% of Kurdish (the Kermanshahi and Elami version about 80%) is the same or related to Persian. Same say with Talyshi or etc. Do you think Iran should also setup pan-Iranist movements under the guise of human rights?


    You say Said Matinpour went to a conference in Turkey to address the rights of “Turkic speaking populations”. Why if he is into human rights, he did not protest the rights of Kurdish minorities and other minorities there? Any neutral observors knows one cannot compare the Kurds situation to Azerbaijanis in Iran. Infact I’ll be happy to trade all Iranic Kurds of Turkey (who have a higher birth population and are getting close to 20 million) for any Azerbaijani in Iran that does not feel Iranian and instead feels connections to Uighyurs or Turkic romanticist of Turkey and etc.

    Fakhteh Zamani , Gunaz t.v. and etc. where do they get their funding? Also Miss. Zamani has already called Iran “a so called country” and has called even Kurdish opposition groups like KDP as terrorist.


    “Guney Azerbaijan” for the real Azerbaijan is not historically correct. One can say Eastern Armenia for the republic of Azerbaijan is more correct. Or call parts of it Northern Talyshistan, Southern Lezginistan. Call Turkey as Eastern Armenia or Norther Kurdistan and etc.

    However lets say if separatism is good. Then it is good for everyone right? So Armenians in Karabagh who voted overwhelmingly to separate should be allowed to do so right? Ossetians and Abkhaz in Georgia too. How about Kurds in Turkey? Talysh, Lezgins in Azerbaijan? Tajiks of Uzbekistan and etc. We can’t have double standards. In fact I have no problem with such elections because you know what would happen:
    1) Azeris in Iran will stay in Iran as overwhelmingly do not supports the likes of Chehregani, Zamani, and etc.
    2) Kurds in Turkey will separate, Zazas too.
    3) Armenians in the republic of Azerbaijan will separate, Lezgins too, Talysh too.

    Pan-Turkist historiography. Babak Khorramdin was not Azerbaijani, because the ethnicity Azerbaijani-Turkic speakers was not formed in Azerbaijan then. He pre-dates the arrival of Oghuz Turks who are the main component of the Azerbaijan language by at least three centuries. The Khorramdin, an off-shoot of Mazdaki Zoroastrianism is correct. Western academic sources say Minorsky, even Bernard Lewis are clear he was not Turkic. So are classical Arabian, Persian and Armenian sources.

    Thus that is why I believe you are promoting geo-political pan-Turkism under the guise of human rights.

    Iran might be in a bad geopolitical situation, but this situation might not necessarily last forever. During this bad geopolitical situation, Iran has seen bad will from couple of countries. These countries though have problems with Armenians, Greeks and to a larger extent, an ideology which has conflicts with Russia and even now China. Is it prudent on their part to go against 120+ million Iranians (35 million Iranic/Kurds, 60-80 million Iranic/Persians (Iran, Tajikistan, Afghanistan,..)?

    Pan movements usually drive each other. Pan-Turkism promoted now by Turkey and Azerbaijan (and it is interesting genetically the influence of Turks were very little here and Turks were mainly nomads who did not have the rich culture of Iranians and Armenians and that is why there is say a claim on Babak), was the ideology that brought up pan-Iranism as a reaction. Both Turkey and the country of Azerbaijan should be smarter, because it is not certain this Iranian anti-Nationalist government (IRI) will last forever, there are more Kurds in Turkey than Azeris in Iran, there are Armenians in Caucasus and Talysh and etc. So these countries (Armenia included) should work together and minimize outside influence for the sake of their people. Minority rights should be encouraged but not under the guise of pan-Turkism.

    I doubt this will happen though.

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