Human Security Versus State Security
By Nasser Boladai
Beside Persian national group there are other national ethnicities to include: Ahwazi Arab, Azerbaijani Turk, Baloch, Kurd, Lor and Turkmen who have been living for thousands of years in their own historical territories, shaping today's Iran as a multinational Country.
So far, the question of national diversity in Iran has mostly been seen from the classic realist angle of the national security lens. The problems identified and the solutions suggested for resolving the crisis also bear a strong instrument of a security-centred approach by the Iranian state. This approach is also supported by most centrist dominated political groups.
While any demand in relation to ethnic equality by the marginalised national minorities considered as a security threat, the harshest methods of suppression have been implemented by the Iranian State.
The ignorance by the democratic countries and larger international community have been justified under the shadow of their national interest.
The current Iranian Chauvinistic state's characteristic shape and identity is based on Persian ethnic's language, culture and Shiite religion, which is forcefully being imposed on other national groups and regions. The state policies have made oppressed nationalities less economically and socially developed, more vulnerable with threatened language and cultural identity.
Capital Punishment, and Extra Judicial killings, are another aspect of the Iranian state policies towards national minorities.
Since Rouhani has become president the execution rate has increased, particularly in Balochistan and other regions like Kurdistan and Ahwaz. This systematic use of capital punishment by the administration of President Rouhani, is the direct result of his security policies. Mr Rouhani has been direct representative of Mr Khamenei as the head of Iranian National Security Council for 16 years.
Amnesty International wrote that the Iranian government "was increasingly using the death penalty as a way of stemming unrest in areas with large ethnic minorities"
This policy is more obvious in Balochistan than any other region. Baloch people are at a very high risk of being victims of execution. Looking at the statistics, one third of all people executed in Iran are Baloch. Baloch are about 5% of Iran's total population.
The Wall Street Journal wrote in December 2013 that: "Baloch have accounted for at least 20% of executions since 2006, ." "The actual number may be much higher, as it is becoming more difficult to track executions of Baluchis. Iranian authorities increasingly move Balochi prisoners outside the Balochistan for execution, according to Ms. Boroumand" . Of Broumand Foundation.
Extra-judicial killings have been a characteristic of Iranian state policy in national minority regions, especially in Balochistan. This was clearly stated by the head of Mersad, a paramilitary force, who said: "We have not been given orders to arrest and hand over those who carry weapons. On the basis of a directive we have received, we will execute any bandits, wherever we capture them (Ettela'at, 25 February 1998)".
Islamic Republic of Iran has shown that it is incapable of reform and a transition to democracy. In order to change this trend toward a democratic, secular and federal development, there is a need to taking a new approach, particularly by the opposition groups.
The new approach, should consider the demand from the oppressed nationalities for their human rights in accordance with United Nations Convention and democratic principles.
It is time for democratic forces to envisage a policy, based on human security centric approach. An approach, appealing directly to the public will of a disenfranchised and disempowered population suffering from' multiple discriminations. An inclusive policy will create bases for a broad based opposition group, to challenge the absolute hold of the regime and create the circumstances for a transition to democracy.
International community and democratic countries like, United Kingdom, can play a positive role by empowering National Minorities, for instance, by giving them a voice in their own language in the BBC international radio and TV services. As an example, Baloch in Iran lack access to free news in their own language.
This text was presented at House of Commons Conference: 'Iran's Kurds at a Crossroads? International and Cross-Border Strategies'
Nasser Boladai: Spokesperson of Balochistan Peoples Party, a member foreign affairs committee of Congress of Nationalities for Federal Iran and President of the UNPO.