These days commemorate 15 April Ahwazi Intifada (Uprising) which was inspired by a leaked secret letter written by Mohammad Abtahi, Vice President of "Reformist and Promoter of Dialogue between Civilizations Mohammed Khatami 1997-2005". It's briefly outlined a policy to radically alter the province’s demographic make up by moving Arabs (especially those with higher education) to other parts of the country, whilst moving non-Arabs into the region, the end in mind being are reduction of the province’s Arab population to a third of what it was in 2005.
The letter and its translation were published on British Ahwazi Friendship Society and Ahwazi and Ahwazi Human Rights Dossier:
Emblem of the Islamic Republic ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN
Office of the President Head of the Executive Office
Attachment 5/316/20675 (hand written)
TOP SECRETIn the Name of Allah
Head of the respectful Department of planning and budget- Mr. Dr. Najafi
Pursuant to the policies set forth, and the legislation approved by the National SecurityCouncil, with regards to changing the population demography of Arabs of Khuzestan andtheir appropriate resettlement to other parts of the country, it is necessary that theattached approved instructions be directed to all relevant subsidiary organizations forexecution.
1. The Arab population of Khuzestan must be reduced to a third of the total population ofKhuzestan within 10 years, with the rest of the population to be composed of Farsi-speaking residents and migrants.
2. On the resettlement of other ethnic groups, especially the Azeri (Turks) to Khuzestan province, in addition to the facilities approved under legislations # 16-32/971/5-7, dated14/4/1376 (1998) - other arrangements have been made to facilitate this (forced resettlement) which will be announced in the future.
3. It is necessary to increase the resettlement of their (Arab) educated class to other provinces, especially to Isfahan, Tehran and Tabriz.
4. Proof of the existence of this ethnic group (Arabs) should be eradicated, including the changing of remaining (Arabic) names of cities, villages, regions and streets to Farsi names.
5. Arabic-speaking people should be used for the execution of this legislation, although the secrecy of this programme must be respected.
6. Newly approved legislation regarding the (forced) migration of (university) students,civil servants, teachers, military and security forces and farmers to other provinces, are attached.
Sayed Mohammad-Ali Abtahi
TOP SECRET 27686/62 2/5/1377
1. Ministry of Information (Security)
2. Ministry of Interior
3. Ministry of Housing and Urban Development
4. Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance