May 16, 2017

UNPO and Hudson Institute Co-Organise Conference on National Minorities and Federalism in Iran


Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

11:45am to 1:30pm

Hudson Institute, 1201 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Suite 400, Washington, DC 20004

To register for the event, click here.

UNPO and the Hudson Institute, in collaboration with the Congress of Nationalities for a Federal Iran, will convene a panel discussion on multinationalism and peaceful ways to achieve federalism in Iran. Entitled “The Iranian Mosaic: The Struggles of Minorities for a Federal and Pluralistic Iran”, the event will bring together high-level panellists representing the plethora of non-Persian nationalities existing in today’s Islamic Republic of Iran, and seeks to raise awareness of the country’s multinational character. The event will take place on Tuesday, May 16, 2017, at 11:45 am and is open to the public.

Iran is an ethno-religious mosaic that includes Persian Shia in addition to a diversity of minority groups such as Azerbaijani Turks, Ahwazi, Baloch, and Kurds. Many non-Persians have felt politically and economically marginalized by the Persian-dominated theocracy in Tehran, and minority groups have been disproportionately affected by worsening state-sponsored violence and repression in recent years.

Soon, if not already, minorities will make up the majority of Iran’s total population because of higher fertility rates among minority groups than their Persian counterparts. This suggests that Iran’s internal stability and capacity for integration into the international order in coming years may heavily depend on Tehran’s willingness to decentralize governance, create new economic opportunities for all its people, and incorporate its minorities as full citizens.

Understanding both the plight and role of minorities in shaping Iran’s future is crucial for America’s policy toward the Islamic Republic. On May 16, Hudson Institute and the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization will host a panel discussion with representatives of Iran’s Azerbaijani, Kurdish, Ahwazi, and Baloch populations who are working peacefully for federalism and pluralism. The panelists will discuss the status of minorities inside the Islamic Republic, and their hopes and aspirations for a better future inside Iran.

This event will be live streamed on the Hudson Institute’s website. A light lunch will be available at 11:45 am and the program will begin at noon.



Nasser Boladai (Balochistan People’s Party) 

Mauri Esfandiari (Komala Party)

Arash Saleh (Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan)

Dr. Karim Abdian (Democratic Solidarity Party of Alahwaz)

Habib Azarsina (South Azerbaijan Alliance)

Eric B. Brown (Moderator, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute)



11:45 am — 12:00 pm: Lunch and Registration

12:00 pm — 12:10 pm: Introduction

12:10 pm — 1:10 pm: Speaker Remarks

1:10 pm — 1:30 pm: Audience Q & A


In case you need further information, please contact Marvin Kumetat ([email protected]).