#Ahwazna – South Azerbaijan is not Iran, should be treated separately to regime, says resistance head

Dear Mr. President,

First of all, I’d like to say congratulations on becoming the 45th President of the United States of America.

As spokesman of the Azerbaijan National Resistance Movement (ANRO), an organization committed to representing ethnic Azerbaijani Turks in their struggle for independence from the occupation of Iran. I would like to inform your excellency that the Iranian regime has occupied our homeland by force and brutality. In fact, we the people of South Azerbaijan believe steadfastly that “South Azerbaijan” is not Iran.

For years, we are fighting peacefully to attain freedom and ultimate liberation from domination and oppression of Iranian regime. Therefore, In the recent decades, many South Azerbaijani activists were forced to leave their homelands and sought refuge in European countries and America.

Your recent executive order about travel ban of 7 countries will affect South Azerbaijani activities situation as well.

On behalf of the Azerbaijan National Resistance Organization (ANRO), we sincerely urge you to separate South Azerbaijani people from Iranian loyalists’ regime.

I have attached a few documents that will act as a primer to the Azerbaijani National Movement in Iran and our organization. We look forward to the opportunity to meet, discuss Iran and our movement in further details, and hopefully establish a meaningful channel for communication and cooperation.

Most respectfully,

Babek Chalabiyanli

Spokesman of

Azerbaijan National Resistance Organization (ANRO)


South Azerbaijan and the National Movement of Azerbaijan

South Azerbaijan and the National Movement of Azerbaijan South Azerbaijan is a vast region in Northwestern Iran, which is populated predominantly by Azerbaijani Turks. Throughout the past millennium, most of the consecutive governments that ruled over Iran have hailed from the Azerbaijani-Turkish nation. It wasn’t until the overthrow of the Azerbaijani Qajar empire by Reza Shah Pahlavi in 1925, that ethnic Persian nationalism became the dominant doctrine and consequently anti-Arabism, anti-Turkism and anti-Islamism became the basis for forming the modern Iranian nation-state. The Persianate dynasty began a policy of eliminating all non-Persian (non-Farsi) cultural and historical heritage, thus erasing the legacy of the Azerbaijani Turks. The Pahlavi’s viewed the Azerbaijani Turkish culture, language, and civilization as one which posed an existential threat to the dominance of the Persian identity in Iran being that over 30% of the entire population of the fledgling state was comprised of ethnic Turks. South Azerbaijan, which had been the most modern and developed region in the empire over the centuries was suddenly starved of its economic standing and quickly deteriorated into one of the most impoverished. Throughout the last eight decades, the Turkish nation in South Azerbaijan has been subjected to economic, political, social, and cultural discrimination and oppression.

Mass humiliation and ridicule under systematic racism has grown to become one of the most detrimental problems to the Azerbaijani identity and the national psyche.

Not only did the ethnic segregation of Iran’s minorities persist even after the 1979, Islamic revolution, but this mentality has infiltrated every aspect of Iranian society, including the supposedly democratic opposition, which under no circumstance recognizes that Iran is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious, and multi-cultural country. This being even though Iran’s Farsi-speaking population is just shy of constituting a simple majority of the population of Iran, the majority being comprised of the lager number of all other ethnic groups. Thus, the Azerbaijani Turkish nation starting from the early 1900s has maintained a resistance campaign to counteract and repel Persian chauvinism. To halt the persecution and discrimination that has plagued South Azerbaijan for decades and protect Azerbaijan’s historical heritage, identity, and dignity, Azerbaijani Turks have taken to multifaceted forms of expression, risking detention, torture, and even death. The modern stage of national struggle, referred to as the “National Movement of Azerbaijan” has consistently grown since the late 1980s. The National Movement of Azerbaijan is now a powerful and well-supported political movement, calling for the social and collective human rights and freedoms of Turkish society in South Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan National Resistance Organization

Azerbaijan National Resistance Organization (ANRO), was established in 2006. ANRO defines itself as a part and subset of general National Movement of Azerbaijan. ANRO advocates for the economic, political, social, cultural and human rights and fundamental liberties of Turkish nation in South Azerbaijan. ANRO believes firmly in the principles of democracy and acts using methods and values of civil disobedience to achieve its aims.

ANRO avoids and condemns all kinds of violence especially governmental and organized armed terrorism.

We, the Azerbaijan National Resistance Organization (ANRO), strongly believe that all necessary conditions for the self-determination of the Turkish nation in South Azerbaijan should be fulfilled and that self-determination for our nation is a legitimate and legal right.

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