Iranian Arabs

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For the original group, see Arab people, Persian people, and Iranian peoples.
For people of mixed Arab and Persian descent, see Persian Arab.

{{Infobox ethnic group | group = Iranian Arabs | native_name = عرب إيران
عرب‌های ايران

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| poptime = 6.2 million[1] | popplace = Khuzestan, Ilam, Tehran, Hormozgan, Bushehr, Fars, Semnan, Kerman, Khorasan, Kermanshah, Qom | langs = Arabic, Persian, Gulf Arabic | rels = Twelver Shi'a Islam (Overwhelming Majority), Sunni Islam (Minority)Cite error: A <ref> tag is missing the closing </ref> (see the help page).

Payame Noor University, which has 229 campuses throughout the country, in 2008 declared that Arabic will be the "second language" of the university, and that all its services will be offered in Arabic, concurrent with Persian.[2]


Shapur II the Great (309-379 A.D.) of the Sassanid Empire, after a punitive expedition across the Persian Gulf early in his reign, transplanted several clans of the Taghleb to Dārzīn (Daharzīn) near Bam, several clans of the Abd al-Qays and Tamīm to Haǰar (the Kūh-e Hazār region) southeast of Kermān, several clans of the Bakr ben Wāʾel to Kermān, and several clans of the Hanzala to Tavvaz, near present-day Dālakī in Fārs.[3]

Although after the Arab invasion of Persia in the 7th century, many Arab tribes settled in different parts of Iran, it is the Arab tribes of Khuzestan that have retained their identity in language, culture, and Shia Islam to the present day. But ethno-linguistic characteristics of the region must be studied against the long and turbulent history of the province, with its own local language khuzi, which may have been of Elamite origin and which gradually disappeared in the early medieval period. The immigration of Arab tribes from outside the province was also a long-term process. There was a great influx of Arab-speaking immigrants into the province from the 16th to the 19th century, including the migration of the Banu Kaab and Banu Lam. There were attempts by the Iraqi regime during the Iran-Iraq war (1980–88) to generate Arab nationalism in the area but without any palpable success.[4]


Sampling NRY diversity, it was found that the Y-DNA haplogroups F and J2 are carried at very high frequency among the Iranian Arabs - those two markers alone accounting for over half of Iranian Arab haplogroups.[5] This high ratio of haplogroup F, in particular, relates them, in a genetic sense, to peoples of the Eastern Mediterranean and of the Barbary Coast, while an elevated frequency of haplogroup J-M172 is typical of Near Eastern peoples and reflective of the genetic legacy of early agriculturalists in, and their diffusion from, the Neolithic Near East c. 8000-4000 BCE.[6][7][8] Haplogroup R1a1, and R1, typical of Indo-Iranian groups, is also important, occurring in over 11% of the sample; haplogroup G is present in over 5%.[5]

Regional groups[edit]


Main article: Ahwazi Arabs

Most Iranian Arabs in Khūzestān Province are bilingual, speaking Arabic as their mother tongue, and Persian as a second language. The variety of Arabic spoken in the province is Khuzestani Arabic, which is a Mesopotamian dialect shared by Arabs across the border in Iraq. It can be easily understood by other Arabic-speakers.

From the immigrant Arab tribes of Khuzestan (from the present-day Iraq), the Banu Kaab at Dawraq (the later Fallāhīya and the present-day Shadegan) and the Mawlāʾī at Hoveyzeh can be mentioned.[9]

The well-known Bani Turuf tribe is settled in the Dasht e Azadegan (formerly Dasht-e Mīshān) around the town of Hūzagān (formerly Hoveyzeh), and consists of seven tribes, the Sovārī, Marzaā, Shorfa, Banī Sāleh, Marvān, Qāṭeʿ, and Sayyed Nemat. North of the lands of the ʿAnāfeja of the Āl Katīr, in the area called Mīānāb, between the Kārūn and Karkheh Rivers, dwell several Arab tribes, of which the best known are the Kaab (probably an offshoot of the Banī Kaʿb of southern Khuzestan), the ʿAbd al khānī, the Mazraa, the Al Bū Rāwīya, and the Sādāt. These tribes gradually immigrated into Iran during and after the early years of the Qajar period.[9]


Khamseh nomads live in eastern Fars Province (Lar and close surrounding areas). Arabs that live in eastern Fars Province and Hormozgan mostly belong to the, Banu Tamim, Banu kaab and Banu Hammed.


Main article: Arabs in Khorasan

Most Khorasani-Arabs belong to the tribes of Sheybani, Zangooyi, Mishmast, Khozaima and Azdi. Khorasan Arabs are Persian speakers and only a few speak Arabic as their mother tongue. Khorasani-Arabs in the cities Birjand, Mashhad and Nishapur are a big ethnic group.[10]


Elton Daniel in The History of Iran (Greenwood Press, 2001), states that the Arabs of Iran "are concentrated in the province of Khuzistan and number about half a million".[11] The Historical Dictionary of Iran puts the number at 1 million.[12] Iranian Arabs form 2% of Iran's population.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b CIA World Factbook
  2. ^ رادیو زمانه | خبر اول | ایران | عربی دومین زبان دانشگاه پیام نور شد
  3. ^ Oberling and Hourcade, P.and B. "Arab tribes of Iran". Encyclopædia Iranica. Retrieved 2011-04-09. 
  4. ^ FRYE, Richard Nelson (May 2, 2006). "PEOPLES OF IRAN". Encyclopaedia Iranica. Retrieved 2008-12-14. 
  5. ^ a b Nasidze, I., Quinque, D., Rahmani, M., Alemohamad, S. A. and Stoneking, M. (2008), Close Genetic Relationship Between Semitic-speaking and Indo-European-speaking Groups in Iran. Annals of Human Genetics, 72: 241–252.
  6. ^ Semino O, Passarino G, Oefner P J, Lin A A, Arbuzova S, Beckman L E, de Benedictis G, Francalacci P, Kouvatsi A, Limborska S, et al. (2000) Science 290:1155–1159
  7. ^ Underhill P A, Passarino G, Lin A A, Shen P, Foley R A, Mirazon-Lahr M, Oefner P J, Cavalli-Sforza L L (2001) Ann Hum Genet 65:43–62
  8. ^ R. Spencer Wells et al., "The Eurasian Heartland: A continental perspective on Y-chromosome diversity," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (August 28, 2001
  9. ^ a b Towfīq, F. "ʿAŠĀYER "tribes" in Iran". Encyclopædia Iranica. Retrieved 14 April 2012. 
  10. ^ History of the Arabs. Filip Hetti 1990
  11. ^ The History of Iran (Greenwood Press, 2001), (pg. 14)
  12. ^ Lorentz, J. (1995) p.172

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