"In the Name of Allah: The Arab population of Khuzestan [Arabistan] must be reduced to a third of the total population of Khuzestan [Arabistan] within 10 years"
|Emblem of Iran|
The below leaked secret letter written by Mohammad Abtahi, Vice President of "Reformist and Promoter of Dialogue between Civilizations Mohammed Khatami 1997-2005". It briefly outlined a policy to radically alter the province’s demographic makeup 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:
Emblem of the Islamic Republic ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN
Office of the President Head of the Executive Office
Attachment 5/316/20675 (hand written)
In 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 Security Council, with regards to changing the population demography of Arabs of Khuzestan and their appropriate resettlement to other parts of the country, it is necessary that the attached approved instructions be directed to all relevant subsidiary organizations for execution.
1. The Arab population of Khuzestan [Arabistan] must be reduced to a third of the total population of Khuzestan [Arabistan] 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