Life in Iran TodayToiling for Bread in Sistan and Baluchistan

Toiling for Bread in Sistan and Baluchistan

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A look at the ethnic, linguistic, and national anomalies in Iran always shows the central government as the cause of these problems.

While this was ever present in the governments of Iran, but when it comes to the rule of the Islamic Republic, the imposition of religion and ideological and political totalitarianism is added to the previous wounds.

For these reasons, the aspect of repression and deprivation is far crueler. This repression has not only a political and military aspect, but also imposes instructions including religion, belief in and obligation to Velayat-e-Faqih (the regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei), and adherence to the language and textbook compiled according to the standards of the Islamic government.

It is for the above reasons that the ethnic, linguistic, and national crisis has intensified after the domination of the mullahs over Iran. This totalitarianism of the ruling class has led to brutal killings and several massacres by the central forces and the clerical government against areas such as Iranian Kurdistan and Sistan and Baluchistan provinces.

The Velayat-e-Faqih regime has imposed an economic and livelihood embargo on the Iranian people in general, and on ethnic minorities such as the Kurds and Baluchis, due to the allocation of Iran’s economy to a clerical oligarchy with political power.

Hence, a phenomenon such as fuel and cargo porters are prevalent in these provinces. They are forced to live in such a condition just to earn money to buy a piece of bread for their families, forced to pass through the dangerous paths or ambushes by the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) who enjoy killing them, according to locals.

Due to religious differences, the clerical regime has imposed double cultural sanctions and deprivation on these border tribes in terms of culture and environment compared to the whole of Iran.

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After the massacre of Saravani’s fuel porters by the Revolutionary Guards on February 22, the reflection of local, provincial, and social hatred for this crime has caused the state media to refer to the racist, religious, ideological and security views of the government towards the citizens of Sistan and Baluchistan province.

The state-run daily Mostaghel in its February 24 issue, in a note entitled ‘Judgment Day’, admitted that in the last 42 years, under the shadow of such views by the government, no attention has been paid to resolving the problems and bottlenecks in such areas:

“Due to the Sunni religious context, special security attention is paid to the border provinces of Iran. Border provinces, like the suburbs of large cities, suffer from poverty and injuries stem from poverty. The specific injuries of these provinces have not been considered worthy of attention by the capital’s officials for many years.

“The first reason for these problems is the elimination of these provinces from the perspective of the country’s industry and trade managers. If you work for sustainable development only in Sistan and Baluchistan province, you will quickly notice the terrible gap between this province and the rest of the country.”

While the regime provides super-standard water, bread, and housing for Hezbollah in Lebanon; while it spends billions in Syria trying to keep a war criminal (Bashar Assad) afloat, and while it hands over the keys of Iran’s economy to the Revolutionary Guards, ‘children in Sistan and Baluchistan are deprived of education,’ they are frustrated with access to online classrooms, and their illiteracy rate is skyrocketing:

“During these years, the issue of education of children in Sistan and Baluchistan has been neglected. According to statistics published in ISNA in August last year, the illiteracy rate in Sarbaz county is close to 37 percent. The same report states that there are no accurate statistics on the access of women in this province to schools. Statistics show that the situation of Sistani children’s access to technology for accessing online classrooms has been very disappointing.” (State-run daily Mostaghel, February 24)

The effects of such hardships that the government has imposed on the society and the people and families in these provinces, on the one hand have provoked the inevitable struggle of the people and youth for the right to survive, and on the other hand have uncovered an organized crime:

“Sistan and Baluchistan province is culturally completely abandoned, and this vicious cycle is repeated until it reaches an irreversible point. It seems that Sistan does not matter [to the authorities].” (State-run daily Mostaghel, February 24)

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