Question 7: Why are Western governments silent with respect to Pan-Turkism?
چرا دولتهای غربی در باره پانترکیسم چیزی نمیگویند؟
Kaveh Farrokh: This is a key question that you have asked: why are western governments silent on the issue of pan-Turkism?
First, to answer your question, the reasons are economic and geopolitical. Second, western governments have been far from silent – they are in fact promoting ethnic separatism and pan-Turkism, especially against Iran. See for example the below report of April 10, 2003:
Azeri separatist Meets Policy Makers in Washington (April 10, 2003)
Interestingly Western media outlets portray these as “political opposition” groups when in fact these groups have no interest in Iran or its political process – these groups aim for the violent destruction of Iran through inter-ethnic warfare.
Other reports have also surfaced which we shall discuss later in this interview.
Western support for pan-Turkism in the Caucasus: Baku and and the Aliev Dynasty
Support for pan-Turkism is now very concrete and out in the open; Western governments court Presient Elham Aliev of Arran (the Republic of Azarbaijan since 1918) who views Iranian Azarbaijan as “”South Azarbaijan”. The modern-day Republic of Azarbaijan is not a democracy and pursued policies of forced cultural assimilation. Thus far, Western media outlets have been mainly silent with respect to these issues.
The following report by Daniel Martin in the British Mail Newspaper is vividly descriptive:
In a nutshell: an important western establishment provides support to a government which is undemocratic and makes no mention of human rights abuses in that country – yet one hears of human rights issues from almost any other area of the Middle East throughout the media. The question then is why the bias in this situation?
Quote from Daniel Martin: “Friends in high places: Prince Andrew [left] with President Ilham Allyev [right] in Azerbaijan in June 2009. The pair are said to have developed a ‘close friendship’ . Elham’s late father, Heidar Aliev, was a KGB general and member of the oppressive Soviet Politburo. Heidar Aliev was also one of the Soviet officers who partook in the Soviet Communist occupation of northwest Iran in 1941-1946.
The first reason that comes to mind is the old adage of economics – a Western government looking the other way at the undemocratic practices of a government in the name of petroleum and business investments. This is of course nothing new – Western interests have often courted undemocratic governments in the name of “the bottom line”.
Although not generally known, Imperial Britain has had a keen interest in the Baku oilfields since the beginning of the twentieth century. This is dramatically illustrated from the May 23, 1914, London Petroleum Review, which reports the Ottoman oil fields of Mesopotamia (modern Iraq and Kuwait) as “a second Baku in the making” (Engdahl (2004, p.40-41).
Different name – same management: Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (Anglo-Persian Oil Company until 1935) changes its title to British Petroleum in 1954 (at left). One year before its name change (1953) British Petroleum (BP) had been instrumental in cooperating with the CIA to topple the Iranian administration of Prime Minister Mossadegh (1882-1967) (at right). At present, BP has major oil interests in the Caucasus to the north of Iran. For more information consult Iran at War: 1500-1988, 2011, pp. 297-303.
It was in the 1860s when Russian geologists discovered substantial petroleum deposits along the Western Caspian, mainly in the former Persian territory of Baku. The British (and the West in general) certainly had eyes for those Baku deposits, but these were under Czarist Russian occupation at the time (recall the Golestan and Turkemenchai treaties cited in Question 3).
The collapse of the former Soviet Union finally allowed for the opening of the Caspian oil market bonanza to western interests. The relationship described by Daniel Martin in the British Mail Newspaper is simply the continuation of that process today.
One is also reminded of Western support for Saddam Hussein of Iraq and the pan-Arabist Baath party throughout the 1980s – again a case of support for an anti-Iranian racialist philosophy (in this case pan-Arabism). Western governments looked askance when the Baath regime issued racist propaganda against Iranians and Jews, bombed civilian centers, and used chemical weapons not just against Iran but even against Iraq’s indigenous Kurdish population (for more on this topic, read here).
Presidents come and Go – Geopolitics is the Constant. US President Barak Obama and President Elham Aliev of the Republic of Azarbaijan (Arran and the Khanates until 1918) shake hands in an undated photo. There has been little criticism of Aliev’s non-democratic practices or the fact that numeours groups such as the Talysh and Lezgains have been the targets of forced cultural assimilation. There are indications that the Obama administration (like previous administrations) supports and encourages pan-Turkism to achieve geopolitical objectives.
Is there a Plan to Dismember and Balkanize Iran?
According to a recent BBC program, there is Western interest in having Iran dismembered into small puny statelets – see the Shahrbaraz posting on the BBC “poll” on this subject.
Towards the end of question three of this interview I noted how western academics are now involved in the rehabilitation of Soviet inspired anti-Persian pan-Turkism. But before we discuss this further below, we must understand the economic and geopolitical reasons why western governments are interested in the Persophobic brand of pan-Turkism.
Dr. Michel Chossudovsky of the University of Ottawa’s Po0litical Science department, has summarized what has been planned for Iran:
“Washington has been involved in covert intelligence operations inside Iran. American and British intelligence and Special Forces (working with their Israeli counterparts) are involved in this operation… Targeting Iran … broadly serves the interests of the Anglo-American oil conglomerates, the Wall Street financial establishment and the military-industrial complex…The announcement to target Iran should come as no surprise. It is part of the battle for oil…In Baku, Azerbaijan Rumsfeld was busy discussing …the stated short term objective …to “neutralize Iran”. The longer term objective under the Pentagon’s “Caspian Plan” is to exert military and economic control over the entire Caspian Sea basin, with a view to ensuring US authority over oil reserves and pipeline corridors.” (Consult Michel Chossudovsky’s article on Global Research Publications, May 1, 2005, by clicking here).
What does “neutralize Iran” actually mean? This has already been defined by Dr. Robert W. Olson as early as 2004 in his book “Turkey-Iran Relations, 1979-2004: Revolution, Ideology, War, Coups and Geopolitics”.
Robert Olsen’s book has provided details on plans to dismember Iran and has also highlighted how pan-Turkism is being used in this process. (See review of this book by Rolin Mainuddin in the Journal of Third World Studies, Spring 2005, to consult this book, click here).
Olson stated that the western political and petro-economic lobbies are intent on the “Right-sizing of Iran” (see Olson, 2004, p.236) – which means to Balkanize Iran into puny mini-states. Olson very clearly describes how pan-Turkism is being promoted in political, media and academic circles to first weaken and then dismember Iran as a unified state. Pan-Turkism is seen as the perfect geopolitical weapon to dissolve Iran’s common bond: her ancient and culturally powerful Persian heritage.
Jason Athanasiadis actually highlighted the role of western intelligence operatives in encouraging Azari separatism in the Asia Times (Apr 29, 2005) artilce entitled Stirring the Ethnic Pot. Athanasiadis highlights the role of CIA operative, Reuel Marc Gerecht and his revealing book, “Know Thine Enemy” (see Edward Shirley in References). As noted by Athanasiadis:
“Gerecht …mulls over … cultivating high-ranking Azeris to inciting separatist Kurds …he sheds valuable light on how an intelligence professional might approach the dismemberment of a hostile country. ” I continuously scripted possible covert action mischief in my mind. Iranian Azerbaijan was rich in possibilities. Accessible through Turkey and ex-Soviet Azerbaijan, eyed already by nationalists in Baku …Iran’s richest agricultural province was an ideal covert action theater.”
Reuel Marc Gerecht of the American Enterprise Institute is on record for having said “The Iranians …have terrorism in their DNA”. Such views could be construed by many as racist. Mr. Gerecht has been prominent in trying to stir ethnic tensions in Iran. Gerecht’s role in attempting to foster ethno-separatist sentiments in Iranian Azarbaijan have been noted in the Asia Times article “Stirring the Ethnic Pot” by Jason Athanasiadis (April 29, 2005).
The promotion of pan-Turkism in Iranian Azarbaijan (which operates under the guise of Human Rights) is in fact a highly practical geopolitical project. To quote a popular expression “it’s business and nothing personal”. Olson clearly notes how Azerbaijani separatism accommodates geopolitical objectives by removing Iran as a powerful state to facilitate petroleum profits:
“The re-emergence of the Azeri question also fit the international geostrategic objectives of the US, EU, Turkey and Israel. First it would lessen the ability of Iran to participate in the distribution network of oil and gas pipelines criss-crossing Central Asia, the Middle East and Southwest Asia. Second, the growth of Azeri nationalism facilitated US and EU efforts to make the Caspian Basin region a “second” Persian Gulf…to exclude Arab and many Muslim countries…from having any effective voice in international affairs…to more effectively determine the price and access to…the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea basin.” (see Olson 2004, p.155-156).
Let’s spell out what Olson has said in simple 1-2-3 terms: certain lobbies wish to use pan-Turkism to separate Azarbaijan province from Iran because they calculate that this is good for “business”.
William Engdahl in his 2004 book “A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order” noted the following with respect to the big petroleum tycoons::
“The overall emphasis is on removing obstacles – whether political, economic, legal and logistical – to the increased procurement of foreign oil…” (See Engdahl, 2004, p.264).
Major prestigious western media outlets have already begun to perpetuate the “North Azarbaijan” and “South Azarbaijan” narrative. A perfect example is a report by the Christian Science Monitor which also reported that “A greater Azerbaijan was split into northern and southern parts in 1828” (See Daria Vaisman, “Azeris caught in US-Iran Tussle”, Christian Science Monitor, May 22, 2007).
Iranian writers have also expressed that Western powers have envisaged invasion scenarios for Iran. Below is an article by Kaveh Ahmadi in Persian on this topic:
–خطر حمله به ايران با سه سناريو– Three attack-threat scenarios against Iran
The Bernard Lewis Project
Few have ever heard of “The Bernard Lewis Project”. This is a scheme by the aforementioned Professor Bernard Lewis to dismember Iran and the entire “Middle East” (itself an invented geopolitical term). Lewis, who is indeed a “master” scholar and expert on the Turks, Iranian and Arabs, vehemently denies any association with the plan to Balkanize the Middle East. Lewis however is contradicted by the following sources:
Dreyfus and LeMarc (1979, p. 157) provide a very succinct summary of the plan’s methodology:
“According to Lewis, the British should encourage rebellions for national autonomy by the minorities such as the Lebanese Druze, Baluchis, Azerbaiajni Turks, Syrian Alawites, the Copts of Ethiopia, Sudanese mystical sects, Arabian tribes…the goal is the break-up of the Middle East into a mosaic of competing ministates and the weakening of the sovereignty of existing republics and kingdoms…spark a series of breakaway movements by Iran’s Kurds, Azeris, baluchis, and Arabs…these independence movements, in turn would represent dire threats to Turkey, Iraq, Pakistan and other neighboring states.”
The Bernard Lewis plan of 1979 as envisaged by Professor Lewis (inset). Professor Lewis, who is a veritable world-class expert on the Middle East, has denied any associations with this plan but recent publications such as those by William Engdahl dispute this.
As noted by Engdahl (p.171), the Bernard Lewis Plan endeavors to:
“…promote the balkanization of the entire Muslim Near East along Tribal and religious lines. Lewis argued that the West should encourage autonomous groups such as the Kurds…Ethiopian Copts… Azerbaijanis…the chaos would spread in…an “Arc of Crisis”… ”.
Geopolitical Aims or Fantasy? Another view of the Bernard Lewis Plan which appeared on Facebook in September 2011.
The long and wasteful Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988) demonstrated that it was not possible to balkanize Iran using foreign armies of occupation. As a result much focus has been laid upon fostering inter-ethnic conflicts in Iran itself. This is of course less costly for geopolitical lobbies as invading armies would very stiff resistance in Iran, especially with a population united against a foreign invader.
Yet another version of the Bernard Lewis Plan. This version appeared in the Pakistan Defense Forum in March 2011. Note that even the Qashqais are to have their own state, a scheme which clashes with the pan-Arab Al-Ahwaz project which claims all of Iran’s southern coastline (including Baluchistan’s coastline) for itself. Note how a shrunken Iran (now renamed “Persia”) is now cut off from its oilfields in Khuzestan (in the southwest – now re-named “Arabistan”) and even from its Persian Gulf coastline. The boundaries of the pan-Kurd and pan-Azari states are interesting as they both lay claim to many of the same territories (i.e. Hamedan). Note how even Tehran is to be absorbed by the pan-Azari state.
While the specific borders appear to vary with each map, the themes are clear: certain lobbies endeavor to carve Iran into puny statelets. Such a scheme would eliminate a powerful united state with great economic, industrial and technological potential. Fragmentation of such a state would greatly facilitate the extraction of energy deposits from the Persian Gulf region and Central Asia – instead of a united and powerful state (i.e. Iran), geopolitical lobbies would have a series of small, weka and compliant states. The Bernard Lewis project however would also endanger states such as Turkey and Pakistan.
Ralph Peters’ version of the Bernard Lewis Plan (Professor Bernard Lewis in inset). The above is a “revised” map of Iran and the Middle East as proposed by Ralph Peters (source: Peters, R. 2006. Blood Borders: How a better Middle East would Look. Armed Forces Journal, June Issue). Note that the Republic of Azarbaijan has absorbed Iran’s Azarbaijan province, a Greater Kurdistan has absorbed Iran’s Kurdish and Luri regions, Iran’s Khuzistan province has become joined to a southern Iraqi Arab state, Iran’s southeast is joined to a Greater Baluchistan. Interestingly, Peters has “compensated” Iran by “granting” it the city of Herat, which was in fact a part of historical Iran until its official detachment from the country by the British Empire in the late 1850s.
The Greater Baluchistan Project
In order to dismantle a nation-state, you need three things; time, propaganda and traitors from within the country. In the latter endeavor, Western lobbies have been able to find many eager recruits often willing to betray their nation for money and/or status.
There is much evidence to suggest that Western lobbies are supporting violent, ethno-racist, and fringe terrorist groups. One such case is the pro-Taliban Jundullah Baluchistan separatist group which has conducted a series of violent terrorist bombings in Iran. Jundullah’s leader Abdulmalek Rigi was captured by Iranian intelligence who forced his aircraft to land inside Iran in February 201 (see report by The New York Times on February 23, 2010 and Tehran Times on August 11, 2011).
Flight interrupted: Abdulmalek Rigi’s plane was forced to land in Iran by Iranian forces in February 2010. His organization known as Jundullah is an ethno-racist separatist terrorist group which has routinely murdered civilians, including children. Rigi confessed that he has had support from the Obama administration.
Rigi can be seen below confessing on Iran’s Press TV all details of him being contacted by US officials of the Obama administration and their support for him in terms of military equipment, training, forged documents and even a military base close to the Iranian border. Even more shocking is Rigi’s claim that the US officials told him that “…the Americans don’t have a problem with Al-Qaida or the Taliban” .
Video of Abdulmalek Rigi confessing to his ties to Western/US/Persian Gulf Arab states/Pakistan on Iranian TV. Note that Rigi confesses to having obtained vast military support, intelligence and forged documents for his terrorist actions. Rigi’s group seeks to separate Iranian Baluchistan by violent action. Even more shocking is Rigi’s assertion that officials from the Obama administration told him that “…the Americans don’t have a problem with Al-Qaida or the Taliban” .
Rigi’s confession makes reference to US/Western support for Rigi’s Baluchi-Sunni terror attacks in Zahedan, Iranian Baluchistan on February, 17, 2007 – please see this report:
“Weapons used in attack in Zahedan, Iran come from US”. Xinhua News Agency of China, February 17, 2007.
However what received little attention in the West has been the surprising confession by a Major US network, namely ABC news, that the US is supporting separatist terrorist organizations; The ABC News report even reported on the connections between American and Pakistani intelligence agencies in the support of the attacks of Baluchistan-Sunni extremists (Jundullah (led by AbdulMalek Rigi) in Iranian Baluchistan;
ABC News (The Secret war against Iran, April 3, 2007) see also another ABC report (click here…) – Note also the Video clip of the ABC News:report:
There are also reports by Australian media outlets that the secret campaign against Iran was on the agenda when former US Vice President Dick Cheney met Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in February, 2007. See report below:
A report on May 13, 2007 that Iranian border guards had “detained 10 people [attempting to enter Iranian Baluchistan] who illegally entered the country from Pakistan carrying $500,000 in cash, maps of “sensitive areas” and “modern spying cameras” – for further information please see below:
Support for Baluchistan separatist terror attacks has also been corroborated by Former CIA counter-terrorism officer, Philip Giraldi. His interview with antiwar.com radio is available here.
Slavin has noted that US financial support for the Baluch separatists is provided by funds laundered through Europe (2007, p. 165). The Foreign Policy journal noted on January 13, 2012 that:
A series of CIA memos describes how Israeli Mossad agents posed as American spies to recruit members of the terrorist organization Jundallah to fight their covert war against Iran…READ MORE
Radio Farda also reports of the Mossad connection to the Jundullah:
The Greater Kurdistan Project
-There is also Western support for other Persophobic ethno-centric and racist separatist terrorist groups – one of these is the pan-Kurdish PJAK group which is an offshoot of the PKK group which fights against Turkey. The video below shows the real nature of the PJAK organization: a group of violent terrorists who smuggle drugs and opium – this organization is supported by Western lobbies at present.
Racism and Opium: a rare video (narrated in Sorani-Kurdish) showing the true nature of PJAK -a pan-Kurd terrorist organization currently supported by Western lobbies. The above clip shows a PJAK leader displaying a detailed plan to launch a terrorist raid inside Iran. Interestingly PJAK claims that they only attack Pasdaran bases but in practice they have murdered countless innocent civilians (including Kurdish women and children). PJAK also attacks economic (non-military) targets which only leads to civilian economic hardship – with no impact on the ruling regime in Tehran. PJAK is supported by Western lobbies.
PJAK claims to be “against violence” and for “democracy”, but in practice its methods are based on violence and ethnic strife – the aim is to separate Western and to merge this into super-Kurd state composed of pieces of Turkey, Iraq and Syria. No mention is made in Western media of PJAK’s terrorism or drug-smuggling.
There are also unconfirmed reports that Israeli commandos have been training the Kurdish militias in Iraq to launch raids into Iran and link up with separatist groups such as the Komala. There is also western cooperation with the PKK (Partiye Kargaran e Kurdistan or Kurdish Workers Party) which has formed the Iranian Pezhak wing to create disorder in Iranian Kurdistan.
The Arabistan Al-Ahwaz Project
The Al-Ahwaz movement is a pro-Baathist organization that has had strong ties to the late Saddam Hussein. It’s political aims are consistent with the pan-Arabist ambitions of the former Baathist government of Iraq. Hersh has noted that US “…covert activities involve support of the minority Ahwazi Arab…and other dissident organizations.” See report in the New Yorker magazine:
Western analysts are committing the same mistake that pan-Arabist Baathist party of Saddam Hussein did in 1980 – they believe that Iranian Arabs would support a foreign invasion. This explains the support for the London-based Al-Ahwaz group which is a fringe pan-Arab and Persophobic organization. The movement contains an unspecified number of former Iraqi Baath party members who wish to revive Baathist pan-Arabist aims inside southwest Iran. The aims of the Al-Ahwaz organization are the same as those which the late Saddam Hussein endeavoured to. Their aims for Khuzestan province are to:
1) Expel or “ethnic cleanse” all non-Arabs from Khuzestan, despite the fact that Arab-speakers are not the majority inhabitants of the province (they generally tend to predominate in the southern areas of the province along the Persian Gulf).
2) All areas along Iran’s southern Persian Gulf coastline are to be detached from Iran to join the neo-Baathist state.
3) Import Arab-speakers into Iran, most likely Palestinians. Few are aware that Palestinians fought on behalf of Saddam Hussein to conquer Khuzestan from Iran in 1980-1988.
4) The neo-Baathist state with its control of Iran’s oil resources, would most likely either join the United Arab Emirates (UAE) or be in close alliance with them. There are credible reports that certain member states of the UAE, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia support the Al-Ahwaz organization.
The Al-Ahwaz organization is currently led by a man known as Said Abu-Sharif.
As far as is known, Mr. Abu-Sharif is another career-less college drop-out (from Ahvaz University) who has “discovered” a lucrative “career” in racialism. he has indeed been rewarded with much support from the West as the photos below vividly testify.
That’s our Boy! Canadian government officials unveil the red carpet treatment for Saeed Abu-Sharif the leader of the neo-Baathist pan-Arabist organization, known as Al-Ahwaz. (Left) Mr. Abu-Sharif, with ex-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, Mr. Pierre Stewart Pettigrew (Center) Abu-Sharif with ex-Foreign Minister Bill Graham of Canada (Right)Abu Sharif with ex-Prime Minister Paul Martin of Canada . The London-based Al-Ahwaz organization murders innocent civilians to promote a racist agenda.
There are indications that the Iran-Iraq war may have been part of the larger Bernard Lewis plan. Iran was to be invaded with the specific purpose of carving it up into small mini-states.
Direct evidence of the British origins of the Iraqi invasion plan was reported in The New York Times newspaper early in the war (See article entitled “British in 1950, Helped Map Iraqi Invasion of Iran” by Halloran, R. in The New York Times, Thursday, Oct.16, 1980). Interestingly, this report was ignored by the mainstream press and media. The points of this report are summarized as follows:
(1) A detailed invasion plan had been prepared for the Iraqi armed forces in 1950 by the British Military advisers for Iraq, a full 30 years before the invasion of Iran by Saddam Hussein.
(2) The main draft of the plan had been in preparation by the British since 1937. The main axes of advance detailed in the plan corresponded exactly to the Iraqi invasion of Iran on September 22, 1980.
(3) The main objective of this war plan “…called for Iraqi forces to occupy Khuzistan province and then negotiate an armistice with the Iranian government that would include the relinquishment of the province to Iraq…also liberate the Arab-speaking people living in Khuzistan”.
Significantly, successive changes in the Iraqi government over the next thirty years did not alter the major objectives of the British plan; these were simply updated as time progressed.
The British plan for Iran’s invasion indicates that even before the Bernard Lewis Plan was unveiled in 1979, detailed plans for eliminating Iran as a state have bene in place long before 1979.
With the failure of Saddam Hussein’s project to conquer Khusestan, It would appear that the geopolitical strategists have abandoned using proxy Arab troops to annex Khuzistan. Note the following statements by Whitney:
“The Bush administration’s attention has shifted to a small province in southwestern Iran that is unknown to most Americans. Never the less, Khuzestan will become the next front in the war on terror and the lynchpin for prevailing in the global resource war. If the Bush administration can sweep into the region (under the pretext disarming Iran’s nuclear weapons programs) and put Iran’s prodigious oil wealth under US control, the dream of monopolizing Middle East oil will have been achieved. Not surprisingly, this was Saddam Hussein’s strategy in 1980 when he initiated hostilities against Iran in a war that would last for eight years. Saddam was an American client at the time, so it is likely that he got the green-light for the invasion from the Reagan White House. Many of Reagan’s high-ranking officials currently serve in the Bush administration; notably Rumsfeld and Cheney.”
In general, the favouritism of Western officials towards racialists appears to be driven by geopolitical objectives.
A typical map of the Al-Ahwaz society.
Kaveh Farrokh sent a mass e-mail asking individuals to sent protest notes to then Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Pierre Pettigrew (see the entire protest message here) – below is a portion of that letter which was sent by Kaveh Farrokh to Pettigrew on July 4, 2004:
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Dear Mr. Pettigrew,
Canada is not usually perceived as a country that instills and fuels political unrest, supporting orchestrated efforts to undermine sovereignty of other nations.
Iran’s / Persian’s heritage in Asia, the Persian Gulf and southwest Iran is way beyond the pale of acceptable normal diplomacy.
Please disavow your association with the fringe anti-Iranian separatist groups like – – Al-Ahwaz – – front. Canada deserves better.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
No response or explanation was provided as to why a Western government courts and organization which openly boasts of how it feels justified in the killing of innocent civilians.
Kavehfarrokh.com received the following e-mail on July 3, 2012 (identity of sender is witheld for privacy reasons):
Subject: British involvement in separatism in Iran
Date: Tue, 3 Jul 2012 00:57:31 +0100
I would like you to see evidence of possible British government involvement in fomenting anti-Iranian insurgency among Arabs in Khuzestan. The nexus appeared to be the British Ahwazi Friendship
Society which is described in a US cable by an Iranian Arab informant in Kuwait as “created by the British government in order to maintain close ties with Ahwazi opposition groups.” Its leader is an Englishman called Daniel Brett.
From left to right: – Amir Saedi, Ali Gata Alahwazi, Bob Rassell British MP, Ali Torfi and Daniel Brett. Note that Daniel Brett is the chief coordinator of the Arab separatist movement in Iran (Photo source: Abohamzehalahwazi; 10-05-2012).
The informant is described as “an Iranian Ahwazi (Arab) activist and member of the Democratic Solidarity Party of Al-Ahwaz” of which the “BAFS” organization is described as an affiliate (see link…)
The BAFS group works with the “Ahwaz Human Rights Organization”, which is run by an official in the Pentagon (as stated in the cable).
The treasurer of the BAFS group is also a DSPA leader. He met US officials in Dubai to confirm that the group was partnered with other separatist terrorist groups seeking to destroy Iran and said he had met with British foreign secretary Jack Straw.
The BAFS group appears to have morphed into the “Ahwazi Arab Solidarity Network” (AASN), which organizes all Arab separatist groups. This group is behind the Early Day Motion in the British parliament:
More information on what Iran calls the Khalq-e Arab movement, which includes the DSPA, can be found here:
The AASN appears to be the Khalq-e Arab’s diplomatic front, with high level contacts with UN officials to put pressure on Iran and isolate it yet at the same time provide enough distance between it and the British government: http://www.presstv.ir/detail/202249.html
Do you have any comment?
There are also indications that certain countries in the southern Persian Gulf region are more openly supporting the objective of creating separatism in Iran’s Khuzestan province.
Arab policies are reflected in an article by a major Saudi Arabian Newspaper (Al-Hayat) entitled “Al-Hayat Deputy Editor: Gulf States Should Help Al-Ahwaz Secede From Iran” (June 17, 2014). The writer of the article, Jameel Al-Doiabi, urges Arab regimes to support separatist activities in Iran. Jameel Al-Doiabi writes:
“The population of Al-Ahwaz is 9-11 million, out of 70 million Iranians. According to statistics, this province has some 183 billion barrels of [crude] oil, which are more than 85% of Iran’s oil deposits. Furthermore, statistics show that Al-Ahwaz has the world’s second-largest natural gas deposits after Russia … Just imagine what the map would look like if this Arab emirate was independent from Iran, with [its own] regime, army and resources, and was an ally of the Arab Gulf states and the seventh member of the GCC.”
Note that Khaled bin Sultan owns the Al-Hayat ( الحياة) newspaper.
The role of the Government of Baku in promoting pan-Turkism in Iran’s northwest (the Greater Azarbaijan project)
There are strong indications that the government of Baku (Republic of Azarbaijan) is cooperating with various international outlets to promote ethnic conflict in Iran – with the specific aim of detaching Iranian Azarbaijan and joining this to Baku. For more on this topic consult:
“In the recent years, the government of Azerbaijan developed close ties with the Israeli regime and saw these relations as an opportunity to deliver a blow to the neighboring Iran …Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu paid an official visit to Baku …Israel sold to Azerbaijan state-of-the-art weaponry including battlefield aviation, artillery, antitank and anti-infantry weaponry…high-tech armaments and weapons …Azerbaijan has always considered its relations with Israel, … an alternative for pressuring Iran and damaging Iran’s international image…Azerbaijan and Israel have closely worked together to conspire … sabotage Iran’s security and jeopardize Iran’s interests in the region…According to a report published by the United Press International, Israel is infiltrating into Azerbaijan’s intelligence service … Baku’s plots for entering the battlefield with Iran in what can be called a “creeping soft war…inauspicious plans of Baku for creating discord and strife in Iran and striking Iran’s territorial integrity
The PressTV (August 22, 2011) report further avers:
…high-ranking politicians of Israel and Azerbaijan have designed plans to increase and build up ethnic conflicts in the northwestern Iran, where the majority of Iran’s Azeri-speaking people live…airing anti-Iranian programs by Azerbaijan’s TV and radio stations such as Azer Guney TV. The website of this TV station has a Persian section in which a huge amount of propagandistic claims against Iran can be found. They publish hateful articles and claim that the Iranian government suppresses its Azeri-speaking minority and deprives them of the economic, political and social advantages which the rest of Iranian people benefit from. They frequently advertise that the northwestern cities should be separated from Iran and join the Greater Azerbaijan to take advantage of the complete social and political rights and “be rescued from the oppression of the Iranian government.” This is while that everybody in Iran knows that the Azeri speaking people living in country have been always given the equal rights with the rest of the citizens and have also run numerous important positions in the government.
The government of Baku currently funds, supports and promotes numerous pan-Turk racists to pursue its territorial ambitions.
The PressTV (August 22, 2011) report further notes:
Another movement by the government of Azerbaijan in order to aggravate ethnic conflicts in Iran is publishing unrealistic and misleading materials and articles in the textbooks of the students. Dr. Hossein Ahmadi, the secretary of the Conference on Reviewing the School Textbooks of the Republic of Azerbaijan which was held in Iran in May 2006, said that in the new textbooks published for the Azerbaijan students, seven Iranian provinces of Ardabil, East Azerbaijan, West Azerbaijan, Qazvin, Hamedan, Kurdistan and Zanjan have been named as parts of the Greater Azerbaijan Republic…In these textbooks, Iran has been surprisingly called an occupier and the Azeri-speaking provinces of Iran in the northwestern and western parts of the countries have been claimed by the Republic of Azerbaijan,”…Local magazines in the north Iranian province of Guilan have also published reports about the ominous plots of pan-Turkist groups in the Republic of Azerbaijan for removing the city of Talesh from Iran and appending it to Baku.
The notion of a “Greater Azerbaijan” is promoted at the official level by the Baku authorities (a policy first promoted by the former Soviet Union). As noted by the aforementioned historian, Nazrin Mehdiyova the falsification of history has led to:
“…the myth [of a North versus South Azerbaiajn ] became deeply ingrained in the population [of the Republic of Azerbaijan] and was adopted by the PFA [Popular Front of Azerbaijan] as part of the rhetoric.” Mehdiyova, 2003, p.280).
Mahmudlu’s aforementioned book for example completely ignores the region’s long-standing associations with Iran and re-writes history to promote the “Greater Azerbaijan” myth – note one of the book’s maps below:
A historically false map of an alleged “Greater Azerbaijan” during the Arab Caliphate. Historically all contemporary sources clearly distinguish between the real-historical Azarbaijan which is cited as being south of the Araxes River in northwest Iran versus Arran or Albania located to the north of the Araxes River. There are no maps or references that cite ancient Arran in the Caucasus above the Araxes River as “Azerbaijan”.
As noted by the aforementioned Nazrin Mehdiyova:
“…the myth [of a North versus South Azerbaijan] was invented under the Soviets for the purpose of breaking Azerbaijan’s historical links with Iran….(Mehdiyova, 2003, p.280).
Shireen T. Hunter (see 1994, p.11) had earlier raised the alarm that the myth of a “divided Greater Azerbaijan” between Czarist Russia and Qajar Iran after the Golestan (1826) and Turkmenchai (1828) treaties had become a major mainstay of the newly independent Republic of Azarbaijan (following the collapse of the Soviet Union by the early 1990s).
It is interesting that another western historian, Blum (2007, pp.106) clearly reports that modern-day Baku:
“…boasts a well-established official national identity …there has been little historical basis for national identity formation among Azeri elites, who were significantly affected by Russification …”.
There are even pan-Turk essayists from Baku who are forced to acknowledge these facts. One case is Nazim Dadasov who admits that
“…If we look back to the history it will be very difficult to find the term “Azeri nation”. Historians have begun to use this term only during Soviet Union period”.
You can corroborate this at: Dadasov, Nazim, “What is Azeri Nation”, March 26, 2008, posted on-line at International Research Club website (click here).
Dadasov however is very biased. He explains the Soviet policy as having been in place to separate Arran-Albania from Turkey- he makes no mention that Arran was Iranian territory until relatively recently in the early 19th century. Once again, readers may be surprised to learn that a significant number of the modern-day inhabitants of Arran-Albania are unaware of their nation’s links with Iran.
On this point, let us return to the modern-day educational policies of the Republic of Azarbaijan or Arran-Albania. Below is a Baku-government sponsored video animation (Azerbaijan Tarihi (Tarix)) showing a mythical “Greater” Azerbaijan being divided into a “Southern” and “Northern” Azarbaijan by Iran and Russia in the early 19th century (clock on picture to see the video):
A post-Soviet era propaganda map produced in Baku. The above map (click on the above map to see the video) promotes the false notion that a “Greater Azerbaijan” was divided in two by Russia and Iran in 1828. Historically false claims such as these were first promoted by the pan-Turkists of the early 20th century which were then propagated by the former Soviet Union and the Communists, notably Joseph Stalin and Mirjaafar Baguirov. Unfortunately the legacy of historical amnesia has continued to persist at the official level in the Caucasian state.
As noted by Professor Roy [Roy, O., The New Central Asia, I.B. Tauris, 2007] with respect to those territories situated above the Araxes above the historical Azarbaijan province in Iran:
”The concept of Azeri identity barely appears at all before 1920. Up until that point Azerbaijan had been a purely geographical area. Before 1924, the Russians called Azeri Tatars “Turk” or “Muslims“[ Roy, 2007, p. 18]
Note also Professor Kaufman [Kaufman, S., Modern Hatreds: The Symbolic Politics of Ethnic War, Cornell University Press, 2001] who has observed that:
“In fact, the very name “Azerbaijani” was not widely used until the 1930s; before that Azerbaijani intellectuals were unsure whether they should call themselves Caucasian Turks, Muslims, Tatars, or something else” [Kaufman, 2001, p. 56].
Historical archives completely contradict what is essence post-Soviet (and pan-Turkist inspired) ethno-nationalist propaganda (and maps). Note a European map of 1805 below, just before the wars in which Russia conquered Iran’s Caucasian territories – note that there is no such entity as a “Azerbaijan kingdom” or “Greater Azerbaijan”. In fact all of modern day Republic of Azarbaijan were simply khanates which were part of the Iranian state.
The PressTV (August 22, 2011) report further notes:
…American Enterprise Institute and neoconservative pundit Michael Ledeen are behind the Israeli-Azerbaijani plots for disintegrating Iran and establishing a Greater Azerbaijan which is consisted of what the secessionists call the “Southern Azerbaijan”, that is the northwestern Iranian provinces of Gilan, Ardabil, East Azerbaijan and West Azerbaijan.
Recall the discussion earlier of Ruel Gerecht who has worked with the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Michael Ledeen of the AEI is well known to iranians for having hosted a platform for separatist speakers while attempting to bar the majority of Iranians who reject such separatist narratives from speaking.
Michael Ledeen of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Like Mr. Gerecht, Dr. Ledeen is also racist with clear Eurocentrist notions of Western superiority. Dr. Ledeen is on record for having stated “we must dismiss those who tell us that all people are the same, all cultures are of equal worth”.
Below are from Dr. Ledeen that highlight his racist attitudes towards non-Europeans:
…we must remind ourselves of what we are, and the magnitude of our task…we must dismiss those who tell us that all people are the same, all cultures are of equal worth..Silvio Berlusconi was right: We’ve accomplished more than our enemies, and the overwhelming majority of mankind knows it [as cited by Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, A Metahistory of the Clash of Civilizations: US and Them Beyond Orientalism, London: Hurst and Company, 2011, pp.218]
The CheChen Rebellion versus Russia and links to Turkey and Western Lobbies
Sibel Edmonds discusses in the interview below of the role of Turkey and Western lobbies (NATO and US) is allying with CheChen rebels against Russia. This process originated in the early 1990s. The main objective is total Turkish-Western control of the oil resources of the Caucasus.Edmonds notes how Turkish commandos are being used by Western lobbies to train operatives in the Caucasus against Russia.
Edmonds notes in the interview of the role of the Baku establishment in assisting the Turkish-Western activities in the Caucasus. Note that Turkey has already recruited Iranian operatives to promote pan-Turkism and separatism in Iran (see next topic below).
Collaboration in Iran with Western Lobbies
We have already noted on the role of Iranian collaborators who are willing to work for cash on behalf of western intelligence services; recall the case of Abdulmalek Rigi for example discussed earlier.
Even more interesting is the fact that there are people within the Iranian establishment who are essentially betraying their country of origin for money. Note the case of the Iranian army officer below.
In the army of which country? Iranian army officer, Amin Jaafari. Mr. Jaafari is well-known for collaborating with Western secret services operating out of Baku and inside Iranian territory in the northwest of the country. Mr. Jaafari advocates a violent foreign military invasion of Iran to forcefully carve Iran into small states. For more on Mr. Jaafari’s role and collaboration with Western lobbies and Baku, see this article in Persian entitled “Introducing a separatist Amin jaafair who advocates a Military invasion of Iran”-معرفي يك تجزيه طلب و طرفدار حمله به ايران-.
Interestingly just weeks after his exposure in the above link and in Kavehfarrokh.com, Mr. Jaafari (who changed his name to Mehemed Emin) launched a major attack and uttered threats against Kaveh Farrokh in the Kaveh Farrokh Facebook page – below is an excerpt:
این عمل شما هم بی پاسخ نخواهد بود… هیچ درجه و مدرکی از انسانیت ندارید …you have no humanity…this action of yours will be responded to… [for more read Pan-Turkist Amin Jaafari threatnes Kaveh Farrokh…] Note that Jaafari has also attacked the original website in Iran by Iranian Azaris – see this link here …
Just days after Mr. Jaafari made his threats, Kavehfarrokh.com website was attacked several times. See the message below by web supporters of Kaveh farrokh.com:
—- Original Message —-
To: Kaveh Farrokh
Sent: Fri, Oct 28, 2011 8:27 pm
I contacted xxxx again and it appears you are still experiencing a DDoS attack (same as yesterday) someone clearly is not happy with something that was written/posted on your blog and is temporarily attacking your server. The website sometimes loads, however it goes up and down every few minutes. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Western governments, Baku and even the Turkish government now fund pan-Turk racialists inside Iran to promote ethnic conflict. It would seem that at least some members of the Turkish establishment (those with pan-Turkist inclinations) are also funding and promoting pan-Turkism.
The tragedy of preaching hatred to the Young. At left is Mr. Hassan Asadi whose child now flashes the pan-Turk fascist salute. Note the flags of Baku and the Turkish Republic behind them. At right is Mr. Asadi kissing the Turkish flag; Kemal Attaturk’s picture is partially visible to the right of that photo. Iranian authorities seem to have no issue with the spread of pan-Turkism – this may be partly explained by the current establishment’s pan-Islamic outlook (i.e. Palestine affairs, etc). For more on Mr. Asadi, consult the following website: –خائن حسن اسدی را بشناسیم–
The above website has noted the following on Mr. Asadi’s activities:
1) Employment by the Turkish Intelligence Services
2) Provision of information against Kurds who are then arrested and possibly mistreated
3) Actively working with the Turkish Intelligence Services to help spread pan-Turkism and Persephobia inside Iran – the aim being to create a secessionist atomosphere among Iranian Azarbaijanis and to encourage these to join the Turkish state and /or the Baku Republic of Azarbaijan.
The Baku propaganda machine is evidently working in tandem with Western and Turkish elements to promote ethnic division and pan-Turkism within Iran for geopolitical purposes. Note the case below of Montreal-based Mr. Idirim and his protege in Iran, Mr. Hussein Ranjbary.
Pan-Turk “Wolf” in “Human Rights” clothing: Mr. Hussein Ranjbary (RIGHT) who is essentially a puppet of Montreal-based Saleh “Ildirim” (lightning) (CENTER). Mr. Ildirim (possibly a pseudonym) not only enjoys strong ties with the Baku establishment but is also an open pan-Turkist, Persophobe and extreme racialist. See at LEFT the photo clip of the Grey Wolf behind him displayed right next to a flag of the Republic of Azarbaijan (thus named in May 1918). Despite Ildirim’s racist views and support of violence for the advancement of a “Greater Azarbaijan”, Western lobbies promote him as a “Human Rights” champion (see this report from Montreal here). Mr. Ranjbary repeats Mr. Ildirim’s racist statements in various articles which he labels as “Human Rights in Iran”. For more on Mr. Ranjbary’s pursuits read –حسن رنجبري -Hussein Ranjbary.
The role of Western Media Outlets
Despite Professor Lewis’ protestations that he is a-political and has the best of intentions, his actions continue to speak otherwise. Professor Lewis’ position becomes vividly clear in the following movie entitled “Iranium“.
Even more recently, the BBC provided reports on February 14 and 16, 2010, on which I wrote a brief article entitled BBC report on Azarbaijan.
As you can see from the above article, the BBC report was inadvertently perpetuating Soviet era and pan-Turkist narratives which are essentially based on Soviet fiction.
But this is not all. Historical falsifications were again perpetuated in a program entitled “Between Ourselves” (on BBC 4) which was aired on Tuesday March 30, 2010 at 21:30 local time. For a brief text reference to that interview, click here.
Interestingly, the actual voice broadcast interview is no longer available. The actual audio interview is of great interest as the interviewer, Olivia O’Leary, interviewed an Iranian by the name of “Mohammad…involved with Azeri politics”. In the interview “Mohammad” claims that:
“…Persian chauvinists tell us that Azarbaijanis are Iranians who spoke Persian and later adopted Turkish language”
[Note: the actual audio interview is no longer available for reference. However the above sentence accurately recalls the semantics and key words such as “Persian chauvinisms”].
Note two dynamics happening here. O’Leary has:
(1) Ignored the vast scholarship supporting the fact that Iranian Azarbaijanis are Turcophone Iranians
(2) Promoting Soviet propaganda terms such as “Persian Chauvenism”.
Let us briefly examine (1) and (2) more closely.
(1) The Iranian origin of Azarbaijanis. There is much scholarship demonstrating that Iranian Azarbaijanis are an Iranic people who spoke Persian and Iranian languages before being linguistically Turkified.
The 10th century historian Al-Masudi defined the Persians as:
“A people whose borders are the Mahat Mountains and Azarbaijan up to Armenia and Arran [Modern Republic of Azarbaijan], and Baylaqan up to Darband [in the modern Caucasus] and Rayy [near modern Tehran], and Tabaristan and Masqat and Shabaran and Jorhan and Abarshahr, and that is Nishabur, and Herat and Marv and other places in the land of Khorasan, and Seistan, and Kerman and Fars and Ahvaz…all these lands were once one kingdom with one sovereign and one language…although the language differed slightly. The language however, is one, in that its letters are written the same way and used the same way in composition. There are, then, different languages such as Pahlavi, Dari, Azari as well as other Persian languages.”
(Al-Masudi, translated & edited by de Goeje in 1894, pp.77-78).
It is very clear that Al-Masudi classified Azarbaijanis within the Persian stock with their local vernacular, the original Azari, as an Iranian language in the same family as Persian. Western scholarship has had little about the origins of the Azarbaijanis. One example is Professor Mark Whittow of Oxford University who notes that:
“Azerbaijan had a Persian population and was a traditional centre of the Zoroastrian religion…” (Whittow, 1996, p. 203).
Notice that the BBC reporter makes no references to historical sources or even current research. O’Leary simply parrots the activist’s claim that Azarbaijanis are not of Iranian stock. It is not clear whether this has been done deliberately or whether she is simply ignorant of the scholarship on the subject. This means that O’Leary has fallen into the trap of promoting discredited former Soviet and pan-Turkist propaganda.
(2) O’Learypromotes the term “Persian chauvinism”. As we have seen in previous questions, this is a term of Soviet origin, traceable to hard-core Communists such as Joseph Stalin and especially Mir Jaafar Bagherov.
Note also the following report by PressTV (May 5, 2011) with political observers Stephen Lendman (a research associate of the Center for Research on Globalization in Chicago), Michael Jones (editor of Culture Wars magazine) and Webster Tarpley (investigative journalist from Washington) entitled “US seeks to Balkanize the Middle East” which explicitly discussed the objective of Balkanizing Afghanistan, Pakistan as well as the Middle East region. Note that Tarpley explicitly states:
“The goal of this all is the dismemberment of Pakistan…Pakistan could serve as an energy corridor between Iran and China or between India and Europe…to promote the division along well known lines of Punjabis, Sinds, Baluchistan…Riggi [NOTE: pan-Baluch separatist who conducted a terror campaign against Iranian civilians]…supported by NATO and so forth…and then of course Pushtunistan…”
Lendman then states later in the interview:
“The ultimate Middle East prize is Iran…America is trying to re-shuffle the Middle East, North Africa, Eurasia…balkanize the whole region…split them up into much easier controllable divisions …control the whole region…no challenge whatsoever…exploit the people, privatize everything…it’s a ruthless agenda…”
Tarpley and Lendman have made explicit reference to the Balkanization plans for the Middle East, Central Asia as well as the Indian subcontinent. Iran is a vital geostrategic lynchpin in that process. Olson, whom we discussed earlier, clearly notes how Iran as it stands today, is viewed as an obstacle by geopolitical lobbies and the energy sectors:
“Iran was still an obstacle to the new combinazione (Pax Israel-Pax Americana), and its government and/or state would have to be changed, removed or diminished”(See Olson, 2004, p.236).
One of the instruments used to promote ethnic divisions in Iran is the “language issue”, much as the Soviets/Communists did in the 1940s to promote their own (albeit unsuccessful) Balkanization agenda in 1946.
In recent years there have also been a chorus of Western outlets complaining as to why Iran does not have non-Persian language schools, and some even going as far as implying that non-Persian languages are banned in the country. Strictly speaking this is false: Azari Turkish is widely spoken not only in Azarbaijan province, but also outside the province, including tehran. The same can be said of Kurdish, Baluchi Arabic, etc. The issue again appears to be politically driven. A quick on the ground survey also shows that foreign media outlets making such complaints have not looked at the issues dispassionatley nor in depth.
The photograph below is from Marivan, dated to around 2008. It clearly advertises for a Kurdish language school.
Advertisement in Marivan in 2008 for a Kurdish language school. The notion that non-Persian languages are “banned” inside Iran is simplistic and for the most part politically motivated. The language issues are complex and need to be examined in a more dispassionate and objective manner. Nevertheless, numerous western outlets appear to be promoting simplistic and politically motivated slogan reminiscent of the propaganda methods used by the former Soviet Union and the Communists.
The person who sent the image to Kavehfarrokh.com on December 1, 2010 noted the following:
For your information , the attached image is an advertisement in center of Marivaan , for a school of Kurdish language and I took this photo two years ago…It is not that there is no school to teach ethnic languages in Iran , but the real thing is that the local population either don’t have the money or don’t considers the ethnic language that important to pay for that! My cousin’s wife in Sarab villages is a teacher of primary school . I remember her so say when she talked with the students in Azeri Turkish , the parents complaint against her to school principal ! That was because they send their children to school to learn Persian language and they thought if the teacher herself talks in Azeri , they would not learn the Persian and their occupational future will not be good !! Such a over sensitiveness to language is not real and it is imaginary among ordinary people . Only some of intellectual groups and some of university students pay attention to that , mostly in reaction to outside world propaganda , or for other reasons ( that is complex and I’m still researching about their reasons which is complex )
It is evident that the issues are multi-varied and complex – what is being heard in the media outlets appear to be motivated by a mixture of political motives and propaganda – not unlike that used by the former Communists and their supporters based in the Soviet Union.
But the endeavour to promote pan-Turkism against Iran is not confined to prestigious media outlets such as the BBC or the Christian Science Monitor. Major academic institutions are being funded and promoted to re-write history in accordance to the Persophic pan-Turkist tradition we have already discussed. What is especially interesting is how they are using false pan-Turkist and Soviet terminology such as “North Azarbaijan” and “South Azarbaijan” to promote the “Greater Azarbaijan” myth.
The role of Western Academia in promoting Separatism
There are a number of Western authors who have written books in an attempt revise history in accordance with pan-Turkist and Soviet narratives. Let us quickly look over just three of these to get an idea of the direction pertinent scholarship is taking at present.
One of these is Dr. Brenda Shaffer who is based in the University of Haifa and Harvard University. Her political motives are clarified in NATO Parliamentary Assembly link here:
“She has worked for a number of years as a researcher and policy analyst for the Government of Israel and reads a number of languages, including Turkish, Russian, Azerbaijani, and Hebrew…” (For more information, click here).
Brenda Shaffer knows neither Persian nor Arabic, two main historical languages of this critical region. Nearly all of the primary sources about the history of Azerbaijan and Arran (modern Republic of Azarbaijan) before the 20th century are either in Persian or Arabic. Instead Shaffer relies on Soviet era narratives and the Azari-Turkic literature of Baku – she cannot read the primary sources.
This helps explain the critique of her works by Dr. Evan Siegel and Dr. Touraj Atabaki. Dr. Siegel writes of Shaffer’s book “Borders and Brethren: Iran and the Challenge of Azerbaijani Identity” as being:
“…along the lines of the scholarship emanating from Caucasian Azerbaijani academia, although with less control of the facts…a highly political book…full of inaccuracies…” (For more information, consult Evan Siegal’s review in Iranian Studies, Volume 37, Issue 1 March 2004 , pages 140 – 143 in pdf, or see longer version of Siegel’s review by clicking here).
Dr. Touraj Atabaki who also reviewed Shaffer’s book has made similar observations including the following:
“…disappointed with the unbalanced…biased political appraisal …selective amnesia in recalling historical data… insists on mapping out the purely ethnic dimensions… not always observed academic accuracy in presenting data…” (For more information, consult Touraj Atabaki’s review in Slavic Review, 63:1 (2004) in pdf).
It is clear that Shaffer is neither balanced nor objective in her work nor does she provide an accurate report of history. Shaffer appears to be politically motivated in her writings with an apparent dislike of the Iranian people. As a “policy analyst for the Government of Israel”, Shaffer clearly sees the utility of drumming up ethnic tensions for the explicit purpose of geopolitically weakening the Iranian state.
Shaffer is very much like Ruel Gerecht, whom Jason Athanasiadis describes as looking for:
” …opportunities for exploiting the ethnic distinction between the Azaris and the Persians, he looks for a weak link between Azaris and ‘proper’ Persians that would allow a case officer [to] slice a man’s soul, the regime and conceivably the country apart” (for more information click here).
“Professors” such as Shaffer and Gerecht are very transparent. Their issues are political but to achieve their aims, they want to create ethnic warfare within the Iranian populace. They care little for “Human Rights” – if they did, they would not be working so hard to inspire ethnic hatred.
Dr. Charles van der Leeuw is another academic with strong ties to the political and petroleum sector. Again one sees concerns with his works with respect to academic accuracy and political bias. Dr. Muriel Atkin and Dr. Hovan Simonian have raised concerns with van der Leeuw’s books being essentially propaganda publications on behalf of Baku. Atkin for example has noted of van der Leeuw’s book, ”Azerbaijan: A Quest for Identity‘) as being a:
”…combination of carelessness and inaccuracy is characteristic of the book as a whole…His interpretation resembles the one developed by Azerbaijani nationalists in the Soviet Era:…” (See Atkin, M., Russian Review, Vol. 60, No. 4, Oct., 2001, p. 663-62.).
Simonian has noted of van der Leeuw that:
”Rather than filling any void in the study of the Caucasus, van der Leeuw has managed to produce one of the poorest books ever written on the region in recent years…Van der Leeuw’s apparent lack of Knowledge about existing sources is one possible explanation for the numerous flaws found in his volume… “ (See Simonian, H., Central Asia Survey, 2000, 19(2) 297-303).
Simonian raises an important point – virtually none of the academics mentioned have any knowledge of Persian – this is required as the vast bulk of the literature of the Caucasus was in Persian before the Russian conquests.
Of interest are Dr. van der Leeuw’s very transparent ties to the petroleum industry and political lobbies. Few are aware that van der Leeuw had lived for years in Baku since 1992 supporting the pipeline project. His book “Oil and Gas in the Caucasus & Caspian: A History” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2000) is yet another propaganda piece written for the promotion of his clients.
But let us focus on yet one more example of political funding and manipulation of prestigious western universities. One perfect case is John Hopkins University’s Central Asia Institute (CACI).
“Officially” speaking, CACI is describes itself as an independent academic non-partisan program that researches the Caucasus and Central Asia. According to the 2004 CACI Brochure on page7, this body engages in “impartial research”. If true, then this means that they do not obtain funding or contracts to serve political objectives. Frederick Starr even told Harper’s magazine that:
“CACI…receives no funding from Central Asian governments or oil companies – other than an annual stipend of $25,000 from Chevron during the Institute’s first few years of existence.” (see “Academics for Hire”, Harpers Magazine, May 30, 2006).
But Starr is not being completely truthful. Incredibly he is contradicted by CACI’s own brochure! This is what is stated on p.19 of the 2004 CACI brochure which clearly cites major politically motivated financial backers such as:
“…Smith Richardson Foundation…Henry Luce Foundation, the Bradley Foundation, the Folger Foundation… Earhart Foundation…”
The brochure is also clear on the role of petroleum interests by further adding that:
“…many corporations active in the region have also provided open-ended support, including Exxon-Mobil, Chevron, Newmont Mining, and Unocal”
The brochure also cites governmental and military agencies such as
“…the joint Chiefs of Staff of the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the National Security Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency”.
It is clear that the institute does not specifically recognize Iran’s role with respect to Central Asian and Caucasian studies, despite the connections of both regions to Iran for thousands of years. Instead, the brochure only makes reference to “Iranian Azarbaijan” but not Iran, It is almost as if the brochure has been dictated by Communist and pan-Turk ideologues who narrate Iran’s Azarbaijan province as being unrelated to Iran.
We can provide many other examples of the manipulation of scholarship for geopolitical and economic purposes – however the above examples provide a glimpse as to what is currently happening as we speak in this interview.
Promoting hatred through Facebook
The booming Facebook networkvvenue now has millions of members world-wide and is a powerful medium for the transmission of information and ideas. Unfortunately, the same Facebook venue has also become a tool for spreading racial hatred. Western intelligence agencies are increasingly active, especially in promoting Persophobic racialists.
Facebook-نابود باد ایران، زندان ملتهای غیر فارس- Destruction to Iran: Prison of non-Persian Peoples. Note how the icon in the Facebook link deliberately attacks ordinary men, women, children simply because they are Iranian – the poster does not even bother with political issues – it is a racist call for hatred against the Iranian people What is surprising is how and why such a racist and hateful profile is permitted, especially as it so openly advocates racial hatred and even violence. Facebook has now become a major medium for Western lobbies to promote Persophobia with the long-term aims of dismembering Iran as a state.
Perhaps even more shocking is the mission statement by a person called “Mehemed Emin” who apparently created the Facebook link – his message in Persian has been cut and pasted below followed by portions of this translated into English…
TRANSLATION: “…the Group Nabood bad Iran-Zendan mellat e Gheyr Fars [the Prison of non-Persian peoples] has been created by myself and supporters to absorb separatists …and even extreme nationalists to absorb these into our group…”
There are Facebook sites that are extremely racist yet no action has been taken to ban these. These particular cites are run by (or connected to) the aforementioned Mr. Mahmoudali Chehreganli, the pan-Turk separatist leader who is known for contacts and support by Western intelligence services:
Azeri separatist Meets Policy Makers in Washington (April 10, 2003)
Avatar of the extreme racist Facebook site: –فارس سگ– [Persian Dog] – these have mounted the drawing of the head of Cyrus the Great on a canine. Despite the extreme racist nature of pan-Turkism, Western outlets and Baku often promote pan-Turk activists.
Interestingly, this same Facebook page also promotes pan-Arabism and has begun promoting Baathist propaganda – namely the call to sever Iran’s Khuzestan province and to detach Iran from the Persian Gulf. Predictably, these members advocate extreme violence to promote their ethnocentric beliefs.
Racist pan-Turk who often posts very insulting messages against Persian-speakers. Ironically he uses the name Mazdak Azade – both terms are Persian! Pan-Turks often lack education in history and are easily brainwashed by pan-Turk propaganda. This has partly to do with the elimination of ancient Iranian history from Iranian schools’ educational curriculum. Western lobbies and Baku take full advantage of this to promote Persophobia in Facebook, Wikipedia and the internet.
Another example of pan-Turkist extremism in Facebook is by a user named –انجمن باز شناسی کورش کبیر– the Association for Understanding Cyrus the Great. This is a cunning label meant to draw in unsuspecting readers into pan-Turkism. In fact, the user’s main focus is to attack Cyrus the Great, ancient Iran and to promote persophobia. Interestingly, this same user attacked the Facebook profile of kavehfarrokh.com on October 24, 2011 by posting very rude and violent language. As will be seen further below pan-Turkist extremists have been known to cooperate with Eurocentric racists on Wikipedia.
Facebook profile of Mr. Pouya Abdolalizadeh who proudly admits to being a pan-Turk and utters threats against those who oppose pan-Turkism.
Interesting how “extreme nationalists” are often shunned in the West due to their ethnocentric and often violent characteristics. Yet no media outlets raise any alarm with respect to the nature of these particular groups.
[WARNING :RUDE AND EXPLICIT CONTENT] Facebook profile of Mr Elnur Aliyev Sultanoglu. Note how Mr. Sultanoglu uses rude language against Talyshis and Iranians in general as well as his profound hatred of Armenians.
Western support for the Marxist-Islamist MEK Terrorist Organization
Let us now return to the role of Western lobbies in supporting fringe groups, especially those with long-standing and documented terrorist backgrounds. Recall that at the end of our discussion for Question 5, we alluded to the role of MEK organization and how this outfit assisted the Saddam Hussein regime in attacking Iranian civilians.
Emblem of the MEK. Despite its history of terrorist actions against Iranian and American civilians, Western lobbies (including the United States) insist on supporting this Marxist-Islamist organization.
An article published on January 20, 2010 revealed that senior American officials – Rudolph Giuliani, Tom Ridge, Frances Fragos Townsend, and Michael Mukasey- had actually flew to Paris to meet senior embers of the MEK organization. Interestingly, the Washington Post attempted to portray the MEK, which has a long-standing terrorist background and is highly unpopular among Iranians, as representative of the Iranian opposition. Readers may want to consult this document for further information:
The article states well documented atrocities by the MEK against Western interests:
“They bombed the offices of El Al, Shell, BP, and Jewish-owned offices in Tehran. They bombed numerous other U.S. facilities and properties, killing and maiming. In its publication, The Mojahid, Mr. Rajavi said: “We will make this another Vietnam for America.” During the 1970s, MEK assassinated many American military and civilian personnel, including: General Harold Price, Colonel Lewis L. Hawkins, Colonel Paul Schafer, and Colonel Jack Turner. Donald G. Smith, Robert R. Krongrad, and William C. Cottrell of Rockwell International were among the civilians assassinated by Rajavi’s order.
MEK even attempted to assassinate President Richard Nixon by bombing places he was going to visit when in Tehran. There were many attempted kidnappings of Americans in 1970s; among those who were targeted were U.S. Ambassador Douglas MacArthur.
One cannot help but ask why Rudolph Giuliani, Tom Ridge, Frances Fragos Townsend, and Michael Mukasey pander to such an organization? Surely even they cannot believe that the cult-like MEK is a “democratic” organization. At the very least they should realize that the MEK has no friends anywhere in the Iranian spectrum, be it inside Iran or in the diaspora. Once again, one sees a disturbing trend of Western lobbies courting fringe, destructive and even terrorist organizations to serve short-term political and economic objectives. “Human rights” and “Democracy” are terms mobilized as the pretext for such efforts, just as the Soviet Communists did in their attempts to balkanize Iran by playing to local grievances. For more on the topic of western support for the cult-like MEK organization consult:
Then there is this interesting report by the UK Independent Newspaper:
What is not clear is what is meant by “”Iran’s opposition “? The article does not spell this out clearly. The question here is not whether the aim is to simply overthrow the present Tehran establishment as the answer to this is widely known – the real question is what types of groups are being solicited and courted as the Iran Opposition? The only armed opposition group is the widely-despised terrorist MEK and the violent fringe separatist groups supported by various lobbies discussed earlier. The Independent article does not make this issue clear.
Former Defence Secretary Liam Fox (left) and Defence Adam Werritty (right). Fox has been warned by London’s MI6 that his best man Werritty has posed a security risk to British policy in Iran. British officials had told Werritty to scale back his activities; these included visits to Tehran where he was in regular contact with “dissident groups” demanding regime change. It is not clear whether the “dissident groups” are political parties or separatists or both. Read more in the Daily Maiil (by Robert Verkaik , October 22, 2011) here…
Separatist and terrorist organizations in fact often entrap naive, well-meaning and even idealistic folk by using humanistic slogans such as “human rights”, “equality,” etc. People who follow such groups often do not know that the so-called movements are funded, organized and supervised by geopolitical lobbies. The main objective of these “movements” is to alienate groups of people from their collective identity and society and to manipulate these to serve geopolitical objectives. Those who promote separatism are promoting the system of divide and rule.