The Baluchestan region represents a major challenge to the Iranian regime in light of the repeated security operations against forces affiliated with the regime as a result of the non-Persian nationalities’ rejection of the cases of marginalization against them, most notably the Baluch ethnicity.
Recently, the IRNA news agency reported, citing a security source, that four Iranian border guards were injured by an explosive device on the Mirjaveh border in Sistan and Baluchestan Province.
According to the security source, three of those injured in the explosion are in good general condition, but one of the injured was transferred to Provincial Health Center in Zahedan for treatment.
Earlier news reports said that a military vehicle exploded in the Shahrak area of the border city of Mirjaveh. Reports quoted local sources in Mirjaveh as saying that the situation in the city was tense and the movement of military vehicles increased for several hours. The explosion coincided with gunmen launching an attack on Zahedan Police Station 16 near the Makki Mosque last Saturday, in which a policeman and all four attackers were killed.
These operations come at a time when reports revealed statistics on Baluch victims in five regions, where 182 citizens were executed, 167 people were killed by shooting by security personnel, and 121 people were killed on Bloody Friday in Zahedan and Khash, in addition to the killing of 76 people by gunfire from unknown gunmen, and also the killing of 82 citizens who were “fuel transporters” while working.
According to this report, statistics were collected for 182 members of the Baluch ethnic group who were executed from 23 prisons across Iran. About 81% of them were related to drug crimes, and five people were executed on political and security charges. According to data from Haalvsh, which monitors human rights violations in the region, two of those executed were under 18 years of age at the time of the crime and were executed under the heading of “child-criminal”.
Price of marginalization
Dr. Masoud Ibrahim, an academic researcher specializing in Iranian affairs, said in exclusive statements to the Reference that the security conditions in the Baluchestan region have deteriorated over the past two years. The Baluch movements have escalated their armed actions against Iranian security forces in the region, and there is no doubt that the increase and frequency of armed operations in this region has its logical reasons, which Iranian regime officials have long turned a blind eye to.
Ibrahim added that the Baluch ethnicity, like other non-Persian nationalities and ethnicities, suffers from marginalization and persecution by the authorities, which prompted these groups to defend their rights. The Baluch are people of a cause and have a history of national struggle, and they were an important supporter in the success of the Iranian revolution, but after the success of the revolution, their legitimate rights were ignored. From here, the Baluch began to move to gain these rights by force, and armed movements were formed in the region, such as Jaysh al-Adl (Army of Justice), Jundallah, and Ansar al-Furqan.
He added that the Baluch carried out many operations against the Iranian security forces present in the region, as these forces were using killing, oppression, and arrest to deal with the population of the Baluch region, especially the Sunnis, who represent the majority there. These organizations were forced to flee into the Pakistani and Afghan border areas, which became a center for operations against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces.
Persecution of non-Persian nationalities
Ibrahim considered that the continued persecution of non-Persian nationalities and the marginalization of their rights will be a reason for continued tensions in these regions, and the armed movements will continue to carry out armed operations against the Iranian security forces. He added that the continuation of armed operations will be an incentive for all minorities to engage in armed dealings with the Iranian regime, and these areas will turn into hotbeds of tension that threaten the safety of societal security and will increase the extent of protests against the regime that have been ongoing for nearly a year. The more these operations create tension in the Iranian internal arena, the more the Baluch will want to secede and achieve their historical dream.