Identify and Ethnicity in Iran

During the last century, problems associated with the ethnic identities and customs of Iranian ethnic groups have existed to varying degrees. Some ethnic groups in Iran even see themselves as independent nations. In the early years of Mohammad Reza Shah’s reign in Azerbaijan, the Democrat Party was able to declare autonomy for about a year and take over the administration of regions of Azerbaijan. At the same time, in Kurdistan, the Kurdistan Democrat Party managed to take control of some Kurdish cities. In the years following the Revolution, most Kurdish regions were involved in wars that were related to ethnic identity. Similar incidents occurred in the Baluchi areas during the reigns of Reza Shah and Mohammad Reza Shah but were suppressed after a while by central government countermeasures.

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FAQ About Identify and Ethnicity

  • What is Iranian identity? Iranian identity refers to the characteristics that define a person as being Iranian or belonging to the nation of Iran. These characteristics may include shared historical experiences, cultural traditions, social customs, political beliefs, and religious practices. They may also include a shared language and culture, as well as a shared environment and self-concept. In other words, Iranian identity is shaped by the various factors that distinguish Iranian people and groups from others. It is a collective feeling that is shared by people who belong to the country of Iran and feel a sense of connection to its history, culture, and society. However, it is important to note that not all Iranians feel equally connected to their identities. Some ethnic groups within Iran feel marginalised due to economic, political, cultural or religious discrimination and may not fully identify with the larger Iranian community.
  • What is national identity? A national identity is the feeling of belonging and loyalty to a specific country and its society. It is based on shared beliefs, values, cultural norms, language, religion, customs, literature, geography, economy, politics or other factors that connect an individual to the larger community. National identity is a unifying force that brings people together within a society.
  • What does the Constitution say about the mother tongue? The constitution of Iran states that Farsi (Persian) is the official and common language of the country. All official documents, correspondence, and texts must be in Farsi, but the use of local and ethnic languages in the media and the teaching of non-Farsi literature in schools is allowed. However, some ethnic groups in Iran feel discriminated against due to the imposition of the Farsi language as the national and standard language and feel that their languages and cultures are being suppressed.
  • What are the causes and consequences of ethnic discrimination in Iran? Ethnic discrimination and the mistreatment of certain ethnic groups and minorities is a significant social issue in Iran that hinders national unity and integration. This issue is characterised by the unfair treatment of certain ethnic groups based on their ethnicity and can manifest in a variety of ways, such as economic and social exclusion, cultural suppression, and even violence. This discrimination can have serious consequences for the affected groups, including the incitement of feelings of social and cultural deprivation and a lack of opportunities for advancement and success. Ethnic discrimination and the mistreatment of minority groups can also create divisions within society and undermine national unity and cohesion.

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