Azad-Hye, Dubai, 8 March 2006: Aram I expressed concern at the anti-Armenian demonstration held in front of the Armenian Prelacy of Tabriz and the destruction of the Prelacy?s gate by the protesters. This concern was communicated to the Ambassador of Iran to Lebanon, Massoud Idrisi, through Primate of Lebanon?s Armenians Bishop Kegham Khatcherian and the Catholicosate?s chancellor Khatchig Dedeyan.
During the meeting held between the two sides at the Iranian Embassy of Lebanon, the Bishop Khacherian spoke in detail about the protest held on the Sunday 26 February 2006, expressing his distress at the atmosphere and his wish that such incidents are averted in the future.
The Ambassador listened to these concerns and after expressing his regret, he promises to pass on the protest to the Iranian government. He also assured that Iran does not differentiate between its citizens, including the Armenian community of the country.
According to unconfirmed sources the protestors (around 35) were mainly Turks and Azerbaijanis who have been living in Tabriz as immigrants.
Recently it has been noted that several circles in Turkey and Azerbaijan are speaking loudly about the rights of the population of the north-western Iranian provinces (known also with the synonym Azerbaijan), urging them to ask for cultural and political rights, as part of a future pan-Turkic movement.
School textbooks in Azerbaijan frequently refer to that part of Iran as southern Azerbaijan, implying the possibility for future unification with the independent north. Also the number of Turkish speaking population of the same area is frequently inflated to the point that some Azerbaijanis believe 12 million speakers will be added to their country with the liberation of that area.
With the escalation of the United Nation?s Security Council?s pressures against Iran due to its intentions to develop nuclear program, it is becoming obvious that some circles are trying to use all kinds of weapons against Iran, including raising the minority issues.