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.”

State of Baluchis

17 Aug

I came across this website in an Iranian human rights website, the following text was copied. from hra-iran.net:

Continued Harrassment of Teachers in Baloochestan
يكشنبه ، 25 مرداد 1388 ، 22:24

Friday August 14, 2008

This week, security forces have arrested 15 teachers in the Saravan area of the State of Baloochestan.

This Thursday, the guards forcefully entered and searched the houses of seven other teachers in this district and arrested them.. Mohammad Saleh Islam-Zehi, son of Ata-Mohammad, his 17 year old son Mehdi Islam-Zehi and Aleem Jangi-Zehi who teach at the Baghe-Khan Elementary are among the detainees.

There has been no reason or evidence for this unprecedented surge of arrests of Sunni teachers in this area. There is also no information as to their whereabouts despite the families’ continued inquiry

Posted By Farzin Farzad

Posted Aug 17th, 2009


  • someone

    August 18, 2009


    Actually, replacing the turkish names in Azarbaijan with persian names, would be like reverting the name of Newyork to a Native American name, since the arrival of the turkish language at Caucasus and Azarbaijan is not more than 6-800 years old.

    Forbidding shops to use turkish names is another matter and only one example of the oppressions practiced in Iran to day by the Islamic government.

  • yek irani

    August 18, 2009


    Dear Farzin,
    You just censored one of my posts which had no insults against anyone. Also Turkish names are not banned in Iran. However I shall summarize our coresspondences here as well as the fact that you censored one of my posts. For that, I will ask my friend Dr. Farrokh to cancel his interview with you as you are not different than IRI.

  • Yek Irani

    August 18, 2009



    You deleted my message but I can easily re-write it. Censoring messages though is not about human rights.

    Even censoring the message of Behnam was condemnable.

    • Farzin

      August 19, 2009


      Another thing, saying that you have no sympathy for people who chant death to armenians and russians is problematic on various fronts.

      In May 2006, when Azerbaijanis in Iran were killed, beaten, blinded and arrested and tortured, not everyone was chanting these slogans. Some groups yes, were chanting slogans in fury. Also, they didn’t chant marg bar armeni. They chanted “Rus, Fars, Ermani, butun Turkun dushmeni” That means Russians, Persians and Armenians are the enemies of Turks. This warrants murder? Again, even then, not all were chanting these slogans.

      So you having no sympathy for a young man who was blinded by a spray gun in May 2006 means that you have absolutely no respect for human rights. I must reiterate that this is a blog about human rights, not Iranian history. Your blatant racism for Turks shrouds any inkling of sympathy that you might have. This is depressing. I hope at least you have read my blog to understand that there is a legitimate human rights movement for Iran’s minorities and I cannot quit what I am doing even with various remarks refuting my cause.

      I hope this blog shows the obstacles that Azerbaijani activists and professors like Asgharzadeh face in exposing a reality in Iran. I am not on a quest to be hated by Iranians. I just want to see equality in Iran’s races and religions. If I have influenced one person’s perception of ethnicity relations in Iran, I feel that I have done my job. If I have influenced one Iranian minority to feel proud of their heritage and skin, I feel that I have done my job. If I have influenced one Persian to feel a sense of camaraderie with an Iranian minority I have done my job.

      I am drawing on the last couple of days of my fellowship and I hope that my work has not gone unnoticed. Thanks to everyone who has been reading!

  • Yek Irani

    August 19, 2009


    Dear Farzin

    Yes anyone that says death to Armenians, Russians and etc., I have no sympathy for. It doesn’t mean I want them to be beaten, rather they have been a victim of some political games. But I don’t have sympathy with them in the sense of their political movements.

    Accusing me of racism is unwarranted as most of my friends from college were Turks from Turkey.

    Proud of “their heritage and skin”! That was interesting. I think you are confusing African-Americans with Azeris again.

    BTW, Asgharzadeh is also not a Professor, but a lecturer. One needs to become assistant, then associate then tenured Professor.

    I’ll respond to the rest below with my reply to Asad.

  • yek irani

    August 20, 2009


    Oh please, now what you are writing is simply slogans and nothing more.

    Your friend said that Azerbaijan is not afarid of separatism and I proved him dead wrong. After that, you come to his rescue and ask me not to respond to him?

    As I said, I support the Green movement but I will never support a racist pan-Turkist movement that shouts slogans against other ethnicities, burns armenians stores and makes up the biggest lie: Cockroach cartoon had something to do with Azeris. When the cartoonist himself denies it, and even other Azeri cartoonist do, you repeat the same nonsense that Azeris are called cockroach. It is like you are looking for execuses to show victimhood.

    As per Turks, you can accuse me of racism but it doesn’t stand because you cannot differentiate two things:

    1) From a historical point of view, I view the overall role of Turks as negative (despite some positives but an overall assessment) in Iranian civilization just like Greeks do, Russians do, Bulgars do, Armenians do, Macedonians do, Slavs
    in the Balkan do and etc.

    How and why I reached this conclusion is not worth discussing here, but it is based on assessment of lots of act. Even the role of Arabs one can say was not negative because Islam was positive.

    These are personal opinions and I am free to have them. And having these opinions of assessments on the role of different groups/peoples on Iranian civilization does not make one a racist.

    2) As normal human being who speaks Turkish, I have no problem with them and I separate point 1 from point two completely. Most of these (Anatolia, Caucasus and Azerbaijan) are anyhow not really Turks but Turcophones, no matter how much they might say otherwise. Point one is a purely historical affair.

    As per “Azerbaijani Turkic” existing 1000 years ago, it did not. Even there is no attestation of the language. The identity did not exist. Because Azerbaijan, Arran and Caucasian were populated by Iranian-speaking and Caucasian-speaking (say like modern Lezgin) people before the Seljuq. The Seljuqs, Mongols, Turkmens (white sheep/black sheep) and the Turcophone Safavids brought its linguistic Turkification. Scholars are not sure when exactly was the tipping scale (end of Seljuqs, Mongols, Turkmens, Safavids), but from the looks of it, some major cities like Tabriz had their own Iranian language even up to the Safavid era (Maraghi, Safina Tabriz and etc.) and I believe it was the Savafid era as the population of Azerbaijan was mainly Shafi’i before the Safavids and Shafi’ism was not prevalent among Turks (they were in bulk Hanafis).

    But an identity can be formed even in one century, although mainstream Azerbaijani identity in Iran is Iranian and not different from the rest as Aft mentions. The “Turkic” identity that is not present in the republic of Azerbaijan is two centuries old at most and nothing more, else the people there used to be part of the Iranian identity. The identity you are seeking is based on Rasulzadeh’s methodology (even Asgharzadeh clearly sates Modern Azerbaijani identity is madeup by Rasulzadeh). Asgharzadeh funnily tries to claim the Sherwanshah and the blossoming of Persian literature in their domain as Azerbaijani but even the population of Sherwan at that time were not Azeri-Turkic and neither were those Persianized Kings mixed with native Iranians but of Arabic father line.

    However I do not think I can discuss these issues with you scientifically. What matters is that having an identity is a different issue than human rights. In terms of human rights, calling Iran’s Azerbaijan as “south Azerbaijan” (more than half of West Azerbaijan is Kurdish by the way and you have not defined what this 20th century USSR made term means), calling Iran a so called country, claiming non-existent “Aryanism” (which has nothing to do with Germany), claiming that coackroach cartoon had something to do with Azeris and etc. in my opinion has nothing to do with human rights. And just because I do not support a racist movement (pan-Turkism) against IRI does not make me against human rights which you accuse me of. Just like for example I would not support MKO or Saddam against IRI. I support peaceful movements like the Green movement.

    Hope I brought some clarity into your accusations, but what you right has somewhat of a slogan-tone to it. I suggest you use sources.

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