Ahwazi: International Condemnation of Massacre in Ahwaz
State Department Deputy Spokesman Adam Ereli said the US was "very concerned" by the reports of killings and mass arrests following demonstrations against coercive ethnic "restructuring" of Arabs in Khuzestan at the weekend.
He echoed Amnesty International's call for restraint and respect for human rights and free speech, including the right to freely assemble and demonstrate.
"In our view, this unrest and these arrests involve the denial of rights of minority groups in Iran," said Mr. Ereli. "The suppression of minority rights is obviously to be denounced, and it is not the first time that Iran has practiced this kind of human rights violation, and it's reflected in our human rights report on Iran."
A report published by the State Department in February drew
attention to human rights abuses of Ahwazi Arabs, including the closure of two
newspapers and the imprisonment and torture of opposition activists. It also
criticised Iran for failing to clear landmines in Khuzestan, which were left
after the Iran-Iraq War.