Linguistic and national identity of ethnic groups in modern Iran: a source of conflict or a tool for peace? 1072
Master of Science student, School of Government and International Affairs, Durham University, UK
Iran is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world, which forms the unique expanse of Inner Asia. Ethnic, religious, national and linguistic identity create a cultural space that is often prone to uncertain and multi-layered identification- as on individual, so on the national levels.
The complex process of self-recognition as member of a tribe and yet, as member of the whole Iranian nation, accounts for the ambiguous inter-cultural relations, especially in light of current politics. In this paper, opportunities to establish intercultural communication as a means to build sustainable peace in the country and in the region will be explored.
Keywords: Iran, intercultural communication, linguistics, ethnic minorities, religion, peace-building
- Asatrian, G. Etnicheskaya compozicia Irana. Ot “Ariyskogo prostora”
do Azerbaijanskogo mifa [Ethnic composition of Iran. From “Aryan plains” to
Azerbaijani myth]. Yerevan: Kavkazskiy Centr Iranistiki, 2012. P. 12-45.
- Bahrevsky, E. Etnicheskaya pestrota i tsivilizatsionnoe edinstvo:
opit Irana [Ethnic mixture and civilizational unity: the experience of Iran] /
Retsenzia na knigu: Asatrian G. Etnicheskaya compozicia Irana. Ot “Ariyskogo
prostora” do Azerbaijanskogo mifa [Book review of Asatrian G. Ethnic
composition of Iran. From “Aryan plains” to Azerbaijani myth]/ Problemi
natsionalnoi strategii [Problems of National Strategy]. № 3 (18). 2013. P.
- Borjian M. Bilingualism in Mazandaran: Peaceful Coexistence
with Persian. Languages, Communities, and Education, spring 2005. P.
- Cheheltani M., Deurase N., Ahmad Z., Sabran M.S. Estimating Ethnic
Identities’ Importance among Iranian Tribes. Asian Social Science, vol.8. № 11.
2012. P. 58-66.
- CIA, the World Factbook, 2013. Available at:
- Ethnologue. Languages of the World. Available at:
- Nader A., Stewart R. Iran’s forgotten ethnic minorities. Foreign
Policy, the Middle East Channel, 2013. Available at:
- Sulemainov E., Pikal K., Kraus J. The Rise of Nationalism among
Iranian Azerbaijanis: a Step towards Iran’s Disintegration? IDC Herzliya,
Gloria Center, the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal.
20.03.2013. P. 42-47.
- United States Institute of Peace, Iran Minorities 2: Ethnic Diversity. The
Iran Primer, 2013. Available at:
- Vsemirnaya islamskaya politiko-pravovaya mysl [World Islamic political and
legal thought] Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 2013. Available
- WalkerB. State of the World’s Minorities and Indigenous Peoples
2013. Minority Rights Group International, 2013.
- Zāhid S. Iranian national identity in the context of globalization:
dialogue or resistance? Working Paper. Coventry: University of Warwick, Centre
for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation, 2005. P. 34-38.