Today.Az litics/48929.html
Nov 12 2008

Day.Az interview with Sabir Rustamkhanly, chairman of the Civil
Solidarity Party and Milli Medjlis deputy.

- How would you comment on the prohibition of teaching Azerbaijani
language and literature in Iran, Tebriz?

- To my deepest regret, this is not the first and the last news about
suppressions of Azerbaijanis in Iran. We are regularly receiving
information, proving the unprecedented discrimination, imposed on
35,000,000 of our compatriots, living in this country.

And this implies not only the ban for studying in Azerbaijani, but
also violation of all rights of Iranian Azerbaijanis. I have personally
hold several meetings in the United States, where he met with members
with the US congress, during which I expressed my resentment with the
fact that 35,000,000 Azerbaijani population of Iran has no school to
study their native language.

And this is considering the fact that Armenians, who make up 150,000
people in Iran, have 42 schools, where subjects are taught in their
native language! Unfortunately, the policy of the working leadership
of this country consists of making promises to settle this problem,
in fact, not taking real steps on their prevention.

It seems that the imperialistic ambitions on transformation of modern
Iran into "New Persia" form a basis for these actions. Azerbaijanis
have their own fault in the established state of affairs. We, as a
nation, have demonstrated weakness. But it is now time to put an end
to it and we should display firmness in this issue!

- Why don't 35,000,000 of Iranian Azerbaijanis show enough resistance
to the discriminative actions of the leadership of this country?

- I would not state that Azerbaijanis, residing in Iran, do not
raise a struggle for their rights. But the ruling regime in Iran has
always brutally suppressed any attempts of Azerbaijanis to protect
justice. Our compatriots are subjected to torture, persecutions and
threats and we, representatives of independent Azerbaijan, can not
stay indifferent to such actions of official Tehran.

- I will change the question: can any power resist to 35,000,000
people, if they initiate struggle for their rights?

- All attempts to consolidate Iranian Azerbaijanis on the background
of the national idea have been presented by the leadership of this
country. Our compatriots in Iran have no their national radio,
television, educational establishments, where they could study in
their native language - on the whole, all components, necessary for
formation of national ideology are absent.

And this is the main reason of absence of consolidation among our
compatriots, whose rights are consistently violated y the Persian
regime of Iran.

- Which mechanisms of pressure on Iran does Azerbaijan have in the
issue of protection of the rights of our compatriots, residing in
this country?

- We can use the diplomatic ways of settlement of this process, as
the violation of the rights of Iranian Azerbaijanis is violation of
fundamental norms and rights, approved by the world community. Taking
this fact into account, we may try to prevent violation of the rights
of Iranian Azerbaijanis from the side of the Persian regime, ruling
in this country.

- Relying on a number of international documents, recognizing the
territorial integrity of our country, Azerbaijan is still unable
to return Nagorno Karabakh under its control. How do you propose to
Azerbaijan to attain the settlement of problems of our compatriots,
residing in Iran, using basic international norms and rights?

- Despite existence of a small number of our opportunities, we
must protect our position firmly in the defense of the rights of
Azerbaijanis of Iran. otherwise, in a couple of years, all rights of
Azerbaijanis in Iran will be violated and this will lead to the final
loss of a chance to form a national ideology from our compatriots,
residing in this country, and to their complete assimilation.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress