Riots in South (Iranian) Azerbaijan

by Nathan Hamm on 5/24/2006 · 2 comments

Some readers have surely noticed the news of riots in the Azeri regions of Iran after the publication of an insulting cartoon in a state newspaper. (The paper has been banned.) There are heaps of photos of the various protests at Baybak, including copies of the insulting cartoons. Today.Az explains the offense.

The Azeri riot was sparked by a cartoon in a conservative Iranian newspaper in which the Azeri people, who comprise around a quarter of Iran’s population, were caricatured as cockroaches.

The scale of the Azeri unrest has shaken the regime and forced it to take drastic action to quell the anger shown by Iran’s second largest ethnic group. However, a ban on a weekly newspaper published in Iran’s ethnic Azeri provinces was closed in March on charges of ethnic bias and of acting against national security. The banning of newspapers due to their protrayal of ethnic issues has inflamed ethnic divisions in Iran.

The story also notes that the Iranian government is trying to tie the unrest to US and Israeli plots against it. The AP has more.

“Today, they (the U.S. and its allies) are hatching plots. They want to provoke differences, divisions, disappointment … to prevent the Iranian nation from achieving all of its rights,” Ahmadinejad told thousands of people in Khorramshahr in southwestern Iran.

“It is clear that the evil hands of foreigners are making efforts to provoke tribal, ethnic, and religious differences under the present circumstances,” State Public Prosecutor Ghorban Ali Dorri Najafabadi was quoted Tuesday as saying by state-run media.

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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uzari May 24, 2006 at 1:10 pm

Do dictators all go to the same required rhetoric classes? You’d think by now someone would come up with a better reason for domestic troubles than ‘it’s the evil foreigners trying to destroy us’. I guess if it ain’t broke…

commentator November 6, 2006 at 8:29 am

the pictures are from the various students’ anti-regime protests , and has nothing to do with the nonsensical coackroach cartoon (by Neyestani, an Iranian Azeri).

Moroever everyone who dares to engage in vandalism in punished seriously by the regime, so are the students.

Baybak or similar websites are not reliable sources of information. please do not lower the level of your site by quoting these websites and find reliable sources of information on several Issues

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