Protests erupted in Saravan, near the Iran-Pakistan border in Sistan and Baluchestan province, last week after the Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) forces opened fire on fuel porters, killing several and injuring many more.
As the protests grew, spreading across the province and the country, the IRGC cracked down on them. Some 40 protesters were shot in Suran alone, but still the protests continue. Public outrage is on the rise and this may well lead to further protests across the country or even an uprising.
Why transport fuel?
The impoverished people of the border province are forced to transport fuel to put food on the table because of widespread unemployment there. Then, they are targeted by the IRGC for smuggling, but because of the regime’s “economic and subsistence prohibition” on the people there, which the Iranian Resistance said was “ethnic discrimination” against the Sunnis, they must continue to risk their lives and their freedom.
Even the state-run media is admitting to this. The Mostaghel daily wrote that locals have long been neglected by officials and that they were “literally eliminated from the country’s industry and trade spheres”. This would be bad enough is it wasn’t for the fact that children there are receiving an inadequate education due to deprivation, which will only lead to further issues.
The daily Mostaghel wrote: “During these years we have not paid any attention to the education of children in Sistan and Baluchistan province. According to statistics published by the ISNA news agency, the illiteracy rate in this province is close to 37 percent. There is also no precise census of women’s access to education in this province. The statistics show that the situation of Sistani children’s access to technology for online classrooms has been very disappointing.”
Meanwhile, the regime spends billions on its terrorist proxies, like Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Palestine, and the Bashar al-Assad dictatorship in Syria.
The Iranian opposition wrote: “For years, the regime has abandoned Sistan and Baluchestan province. The outcome of economic, cultural, and subsistence poverty, has put immense pressure on the already impoverished people of this province. On the one hand, locals try to make ends meet, and on the other hand, the regime is imposing organized repression against this deprived community… Therefore, the people of Sistan and Baluchestan have no option but to rise and defend their dignity. It is their right to protest and in recent days Iranians from across the country are showing their support and solidarity.”