Thus, human rights activists, like Heshmat Alavi, are worried that “the clerical regime [is] preparing yet another onslaught targeting a particular sector of Iran’s society” and “paving the path for yet another wave of atrocities”.

Previous incidents

Back in September, gunmen killed 25 people, including at least 12 members of the regime’s notorious Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), at a military parade in the southwestern city of Ahvaz. But one thing strikes many as odd. The gunmen reached the stage where high ranking officials were watching the parade, but only shot at low-ranking IRGC members. Why would they do that?

Alavi explains that this conveniently-timed incident allowed the IRGC to look “innocent”, with media coverage showing IRGC members rescuing small children just days before US President Donald Trump was due to chair a United Nations Security Council session focusing on Iran.

In response to the attacks, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted that Iran would “respond swiftly and decisively” to find the attackers and quickly reached the conclusion that the attackers were terrorists “recruited, trained, armed & paid by a foreign regime”. Alavi suggests that the text was pre-written, which means that the Regime planned the attack, likely in order to derail Trump’s meeting and launch a major crackdown against the Iranian Arab community in Ahvaz and Khuzestan Province.

Amnesty International reported that up to 600 activists were arrested in very overt public raids, like to install a climate of fear among Iranians.

In June 2017, there was an attack launched on both Iran’s parliament and the mausoleum of regime founder Imam Khomeini, which left 17 dead and dozens wounded. But how were attackers armed with AK-47 rifles and explosive vests allowed to pass through security at these heavily fortified sites?

The attack was blamed on ISIS, but rather than go after the terrorist group, the Iranian Regime launched a crackdown on Iran’s Kurdish communities, especially in Kermanshah Province bordering Iraq. Dozens were arrested for cooperating with “extremist religious groups” and eight were sentenced to death in May 2018, but there was no real evidence that they could have planned the attack and many believe this was a plot by the Regime.

Alavi wrote: “Considering the nature and history of the Iranian regime, and recent developments following the Chabahar bombing, there is legitimate concern of Iranian authorities carrying out a new wave of crackdown and executions possibly targeting the minority Baluchi community in the southeast. There are already reports of arrests in this area with authorities claiming they are in connection to the recent attack.”