Ali Akbar Velayati, a regime hardliner, and senior advisor to the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
In this footage, Ali Akbar Velayati, a regime hardliner and senior advisor to the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, talks about the ‘Aryan’ heritage of some Iranians, pointing out that Iran’s population has different ethnicities; this rare display of equanimity, contrary to the regime’s usual policy of promoting racial supremacism amongst Persian Iranians hate against the country’s minorities, particularly Arabs, may have been prompted by recent protests against the regime’s brutal racist policies. While Velayati claims that Aryans’ history in Iran dates back 350,000 years and that the history of the earliest known Iranian peoples, the Parthians, can be traced back around 700,000 years ago, it should be pointed out that the earliest traces of human civilisation ever found on earth to date have been carbon-dated to only around 300,000 years ago.
In this excerpt from an interview, Velayati says, “As you see, some people say that Iranian [Persian] people are of the Aryan race, but the Aryan race is included as one of the races and ethnicities in Iran. Before the Aryans migrated to modern-day Iran, there were ethnicities whose origins are more deep-rooted than the Aryans. The Aryans moved from the northeast Caspian Sea towards Iran. When? About 350,000 years ago, while we in Iran already had ethnic groups in different parts of Iran whose historical roots and presence sometimes goes back twice as long as those of Aryans, for example, those of the Parthian ethnicity who are not of the Aryan race.”