Iran Human Rights Documentation Center
- Iran is home to many different ethnic minorities, including Azeris, Kurds, Baluch and others. One minority that resides in the southwest of the country, and particularly in Khuzestan province, is a sizable Arab ethnic minority with distinct linguistic and cultural practices. Referred to as “Ahwazi Arabs”—in reference to Ahvaz, the capital of Khuzestan, where many Arabs reside—this group has endured discrimination on account of their minority ethnicity under successive governments in Iran. The discovery of oil in Khuzestan at the start of the 20th
century made it a region of interest to the central government in Tehran. However the local population claims that resource diversion and discriminatory practices by the Iranian government against Ahwazi Arabs in the academic and professional sphere has resulted in economic, political, social and cultural marginalization from Iranian mainstream society.