Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 25
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Establishment of an entity for the affairs of ethnic groups and religious minorities in Iran was necessary to eliminate deficiencies on the issue, Iranian president's special aide for the affairs of ethnic groups and religious minorities, Ali Younesi said, Iran's IRNA news agency reported on Jan. 25.
In a decree issued on October 3, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani appointed Younesi as special aide for the affairs of ethnic groups and religious minorities.
It was the first time that such an entity was established in Iran. Younesi emphasized that diversity of ethnicities and religions is positive and a big potential for Iran.
He also criticized negative viewpoints regarding the issue. Iranian senior officials do not have any discriminatory approach towards the ethnic and religious minorities, Younesi added.
He also went on to say that if extremist groups were active in Iran, the country's fate would have been like that of Iraq's, Syria's and Pakistan's.
"In recent months we had meetings with representatives of ethnic groups and religious minorities," Younesi remarked.
There are no any serious problems regarding ethnic minorities in the country, he said, adding that there are some concerns about Baluch people, but administration is dealing with these problems.
On January 20, the Iranian media outlets quoted Yunesi as saying that Iran is preparing to launch special educational courses for different ethnic groups in the country.
The government held several meetings with the country's Ministry of Education, and the issue is currently being assessed, he said.
Younesi didn't give exact details on how the teaching is planned to be carried out, or for which specific group their mother tongue will be taught.
It should be noted that in June 2013, Hassan Rouhani published a statement regarding teaching the ethnic mother tongues of Iranians (Kurdish, Azerbaijani, Arab, etc.), officially emphasizing his intention to fully implement Article 15 of the Iranian Constitution which concerns teaching the mother tongue at schools and universities.
On October 7, Iranian Education Minister, Ali Asghar Fani said that teaching ethnic languages at Iranian schools is priority of the ministry.
He went on to note that it is time to execute the article 15 of Iran's constitution.
On the other hand, governor of Iran's East Azerbaijan Province, Esmaeil Jabbarzadeh repeated his words on establishment of the Academy of Azerbaijani language and literature in Tabriz.
He also mentioned Rouhani's promise on establishment of the academy, saying he will try to realize the promise.
Jabbarzadeh urged Azerbaijani language and literature experts to help him on the issue.
Rouhani promised to provide Iranian Azerbaijanis with an Azerbaijani language academy in Iran during his presidential campaign.