Iranian Nationalism as a Modern Creation
The main conflict in the regime is not the conflict between Moderate Islamist and the "Radical" Islamist. There are many Islamic countries around Iran and none look like Iran. Religion is completely irrelavant in Iran. The main conflict is between Pan-Turk Azeris and the Natives of Iran.
The current Azeri regime in Tehran is a copy of Saffavids Azeri Turk regime in 16 century. It follows all its policies, from "Iranian Racial Nationalism" to use of force and mass murder. "Iranian Racial nationalism" is very similar to German Nazism and that is what Mr. Ahmadinejad is pursuing. The only difference within the Pan-Turk Azeris is with those who claim they are "secular" Pan-Turks. They agree on objectives but they want to carry their "Iranian Racial nationalism" with "democratic and Pluralistic" methods.
Contrary to claims by Azeris, the traditions of Persian Empire was not based on "Ethnic and Racial Iranian Nationalism" but on cultural bonds and values of very diverse nations which were included in the Persian Empire. The ideology and traditions of Russian Empire was based on the Persian Empire. What Azeris recommend is the Azeri Turk Saffavids regime from 16 century which is similar to Nazi Germany than to the Persian traditions.
This is exactly the reason that Azeris manufacture lies about the origin of Azeris as "Iranian Aryans" and they are "mixed with Persians, Kurds" and anybody else they can find. They borrow this ideology and terminology from Jewish Liberal "Nazist" associated with the democratic party in USA.
The following article claims that "Iranian Nationalism" is an ancient ideology and recommends suppression of ethnic groups in Iran under the cover of fighting tribalism and "separatism". Azeri Turk authors are followers of Azeri Saffavids aims of "Iranian Nationalis" but claims this could be done in a "pluralistic and democratic way".
Contrary to its claims it recommends a strong state modelled on Saffavid Azeri Turks model from 16 century and wants to have ethnic cleansing of tribes and creation of an "Iranian nation" which is actually an "Azeri Turk Iranian Nation." That is to destroy all ethnic groups in Iran and reduce all "Iranians" to an "Azeri Turk" by destroying the separate provinces representing different ethnic groups such as Persians, Kurds etc.
Iranians and Iran have remained a nation and a country in much of the last 2,500 years. The Euro-centric belief argues that: (1) “nation” is a European construct; (2) the origins of the nation-state began in Europe after the peace of Westphalia in 1648; and (3) the other constructions of nationhood in the Thirds World are artificial imitations of the Europeans who had colonized them and taught them about the notion of nation. This Euro-centric perspective has made many to argue that Iranian nationalism is an artificial construction of recent times. A typical rendition of this argument is Joya Blondel Saad, The Image of Arabs in Modern Persian Literature (Lanham, MD; University Press of America, 1996). Saad writes that Iranian nationalism is the invention of the 18th and 19th century Europeans, that Iranians borrowed it from the Europeans, and that Iranian nationalists are anti-Arab racists.
Anyone who is familiar with the pre-Islamic history of Iran, the resistance to the Arab-Islamic conquest of Iran, and the existence of cultural articulation of Iranian nationhood by many including Ferdowsi, the 10th century poet, knows that Saad’s view is clearly mistaken.
Therefore, the sense of Iranian-ness is very old and is NOT an artificial imitation of Western nationalism in the post-Westphalian world. The sentiment and ethos of Iranian-ness goes back at least 2,500 years as reflected in the writings of Cyrus the Great and Dariush. It is also reflected in the resistance Iranians carried against foreign conquest of their motherland in the past 2,500 years.
Was Iran a country with territorial integrity under Safavids? Yes. Were Safavids Persian? No. Safavids were Azerbaijanis. They did choose Shia Islam and with the force of the sword killed and forced hitherto Sunni Iranians to convert to Shia Islam. Was it necessary to kill and/or convert Iranians to Shia in order to create a “nation-state,” or was there a pluralistic and non-violent way?
The fact of the matter is that our Azerbaijanis defended Iran and Iran's territorial integrity from Russians and Ottomans under the Safavids.
Tribalism is a backward form of organization like monarchy, feudalism, and theocracy. We need to have modern forms of organizations like political parties based on policies and platforms. We need to modernize the old and ancient forms of administration and bureaucracies. The question is how to proceed.
This technology is based to name the Persian areas as their origin so that they are identified as Persians. They always state they are mixed with somebody like Kurds, Persians etc. They are never mixed with Baluchs!!!! Also sometimes instead of answering the question about their ethnicity, they claim instead that they have a Persian wife!!!!! This is as if they have adopted the ethnicity of their wife!!!! By Persian they mean the core Persians or the Aryan Persians which is a very small minority in Iran, probably not more than 15% of the population and which do not live anywhere close to these Azeri Turks.
Also Azeri Turks accuse Persians to be turks and having a turkish blood. Where this turkish blood has come from is not explained. Usually Arab and Mongol invasions are quoted as the evidence for denying the existence of Persians. Also they often make up fairy tale stories about "intermarriage" and people are "completely mixed" in ancient times. All this tactics are used to deny ethnic identity of people in Iran. Azeri Turks have borrowed these techniques from Jews and it seems they have even recieved training in what to say and how to respond to questions.
A New scheme is to state their ethnicity as "Iranian". By "Iranian" they mean they are a mix of turk, persian, arab and mongol.
The second trend avoids any mention of Persia, Persians or the Persian language instead talks about Iran, Iranian and Irani language. The reason is the word Persian introduces a lot of complications which Azeris can not deal with and the whole scheme can easily crash. The current regime of Mr. Ahmadi is supporting this second trend.