Monday, 26 May 2008

IMHRO: 100 years on Ahwaz Oil

Iranian Minorities’ Human Right Organisation (IMHRO)


100 years ago, on 26 of May 1908 first oil discovery happened in the Middle East and in Ahwaz area. 100 years on, indigenous Ahwazi Arabs are not benefited from the oil and as end of oil era could be soon, is not clear what will happen for indigenous Ahwazi Arabs.

The entire world benefited from Ahwaz oil

Listing the countries that benefited from of Ahwaz oil is nearly impossible, tracing each drop of oil went where is not realistic but in general, the entire world had benefited from Ahwaz oil.

The major beneficiary are Iran, which after occupying Al-Ahwaz in 1925 for 83 years, whole Iranian economy was based on Ahwaz oil, British Empire won WW1 and WW2 on wave of Ahwaz oil.

British had design and built Abadan oil refinery on 1912, which till before war started between Iran and Iraq in 1980, was biggest oil refinery in the world. A giant oil company called BP today, had born inside Ahwaz oilfields.

American used Ahwaz oil to fill their army machines during Korea war and Vietnam War. South Korea, Japan and these days’ china and Russia are investing for more oil development in the Ahwaz area.

All above are examples of great contribution of Ahwaz oil toward the world. But what the world did for Ahwaz?

Ahwazi Arabs: oil was not for us

Unlike other Arab oil area in Arabic Gulf, Ahwazi Arabs did not benefited from oil. As oil discovered and October revolution happened in Russia, world’s power agreed that Iran can use oil of Ahwaz to built army to stop Russian getting to “warm waters”.

In 1925 Reza shah occupied Ahwaz, and arrested Sheikh Khazal who was ruler of Ahwaz at the time. Sheikh Khazal later tortured and killed by Persian. Since then discriminating of Persian against Ahwazi Arabs started.

Case of oil in Ahwazi is one of the most tragic stories in 20 and 21 century. It is more heart breaking when we hear daily, that end of oil era is near. If we are looking to cause of Least Developed Countries, case of Ahwazi shows clearly how reach to be people, became a poor people with no healthy drinking water”, IMHRO researcher Reza Washahi said.

“Arab, western and eastern countries and UN all closed their eyes on Ahwazi Arab issue. For the world we are just pump of oil not humans.” he added.

Human Right abuse of Indigenous Ahwazi Arabs by the hand of Persian

Human right in Ahwaz since 1925 deteriorated. Arab tribes who riots against Iranian government in all this years subjected to execution of their sheikhs, young men, destroying their villages and displacement.

Ahwazi Arabs banned to speaks and educate in their mother tongues and systemically kept out of higher education.

In last 83 years Many Ahwazi Arab people disappeared, tortured and executed. In massacre of 1980-81 in city of Mohammareh eye witness talking about pallet of bodies blocking the rivers. General Madani ordered his under command, elite navy commandos to shot any Arabs in the street. In Argentinean style, they put Arabs on the bag on drown them in Karon river. The world simply chose to go blind eyes.

Prisoners who been on hunger strike had executed, pregnant women executed, women prisoners gave birth to baby girl and Iranian government kept the baby girl along her mother in unhealthy solitary confinement.

Many villages destroyed for new oil fields developments. Land owners forced to sign the papers stated that they gave over happily their land for oil developments. In recent years Iranian government stopped the water and electricity on villages to force them to leave, that they can use their land for oil developments.

Most of Ahwazi Arabs living in shanty towns, indecent housing and no access to basic health service. Banned from speaking and education in their mother tongue, restriction made by the state for their custom and culture increasing all the time. In Ahwaz any type of gathering is forbidden and media is just only state propaganda.

World heard about what happened in Darfur, but Ahwaz news share in the world media is less than %1 of coverage of Darfur news. World heard about remote tribes, but they forget where came from 100 years energy of running cars and industry.

26 of May 2008 marking 100 year of oil discovery in Ahwaz, question is: the world which benefited from Ahwaz oil will soon remember its victims and do something to stop next hundred years of torture and executions of Ahwazi Arabs by the hand of Persians?

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