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Profile: Popular Democratic Front of Ahwazi Arabs in Iran

Popular Democratic Front of Ahwazi Arabs in Iran was a participant or observer in the following events:

Rumors spread in the Arab-dominated western Iranian city of Ahwaz that the government is considering the forced migration of Arabs to Iran’s northern provinces. The rumors are based on a letter purportedly written by Iran’s vice president, Muhammad Ali Abtahi. (Al Jazeera 4/17/2005; BBC 4/19/2005) The Iranian government claims the letter was fabricated by “foreign agents,” and aimed at exploiting ethnic tensions to create civil unrest. (Xinhua News Agency (Beijing) 5/26/2005) The Popular Democratic Front of Ahwazi Arabs in Iran, however, insists the letter is authentic and represents the regime’s long-standing objective to forcibly relocate Arabs. The controversial letter results in clashes between police and ethnic Arabs in Ahwaz. Although Arabs dominate Ahwaz, they account for only three percent of Iran’s total population. (Al Jazeera 4/17/2005; BBC 4/19/2005)

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