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On September 22, 2018 an attack on the Armed Forces Parade in Ahwaz, left 25 people dead and more than 60 injured.  In a statement issued by the group "National Resistance of Al-Ahwaz", it credited the attack to the unknown group "youth of the Ahwaz Resistance". ISIS also claimed responsibility.

Undoubtedly, this event must be seen as a reaction to unjust policies by the Islamic Republic of Iran in Khuzestan province and in dealing with Iranian-Arabs in the past four decades.

At the core of these wrong actions, repressive policies and discrimination towards the ethnic minorities’ areas, and in particular towards our Iranian Arab compatriots, have led to the growth of extremist tendencies. Nevertheless this does not justify violent actions.

 Terrorism and violence are condemned in any form and violence brings violence. Those that were attacked were not all military personnel. On the other hand, the lack of justice in judicial institutions does not allow perpetual punishment through individual and collective retaliation. A review of contemporary Iranian history points to this fact. In the end, these actions, contrary to the declared objectives, have led to the continuation of the cycle of violence and violations of fundamental human rights.

Union for Secular Republic and Human Rights in Iran strongly condemns the armed attack on the parade of the armed forces in Ahvaz, the deaths and injuries of dozens of ordinary soldiers and ordinary people, and sends it condolences to the families of the deceased.

This harmful act will be used by the government to justify even more repression and violence in the region. We believe that sustainable development policy, political opening and respecting ethnic minority rights of the Arab people of Khuzestan will root out any separatist tendencies in Khuzestan province.

September 23, 2018

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