Following the protests that began on Monday, February 22 and resulted in the massacre of deprived fuel carriers in Saravan, the people of Zahedan staged protests in the townships of Karimabad and Shirabad, which Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) is supporting.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), fearing that the protests would continue, opened fire on the protesters in Karimabad, murdering 40 people and wounding over 100. Helicopters belonging to the IRGC also hovered over the city of Zahedan, the capital of Sistan and Baluchistan province, in order to create an atmosphere of terror, whilst anti-riot forces descended on the city of Iranshahr from Kerman creating a tense situation in the region.
The IRGC and the anti-riot forces were using Rajal school in Suran City as their base to aid in the suppression of the Baluchi compatriots and they cut off or severely disrupted the internet in different cities of the province, including Zahedan and Saravan, to prevent the news of the protests and the regime’s atrocities in the region from spreading.
Maryam Rajavi said: “Cutting off the internet, shooting, massacring and sending helicopters will no longer work.”
The regime’s prosecutor in Sistan and Baluchistan, Mehdi Shamsabadi, made remarks in the Mashreq News publication on February 25, blaming the killing of the youths and fuel carriers on the victims and claimed the shooting was done by “enemies hiding under cover of fuel carriers” and “the regime’s enemies intended to inflame the calm atmosphere of the province”.
Maryam Rajavi has reported that, in retaliation of the massacre, rebellious youths in the Korin-Sarjangal area of Zahedan took to the streets and launched an attack on the IRGC bases in the region, blocking the Jask-Chabahar highway and the roads leading to the bases by setting fire to tires as well as setting fire to several of the vehicles belonging to the guards once they had gained access to the base.
On February 24, many businesses and shopkeepers in cities in the province, including Zahedan, Iranshahr, Khash and Sarbaz, closed their shops and went on strike to protest against the Saravan massacre, leaving the repressive forces on full alert of further protests.
Upon the capture of the IRGC bases in Korin and Qala-e Bid, Zahedan county governor Abouzar-Mehdi Nakhaei denied the regime’s involvement that led to the retaliation and was quoted as saying, “Evil elements attacked these bases with small-caliber weapons and grenade-launchers in order to seize Korin and Qala-e Bid bases, under the pretext of supporting the fake victims of Saravan checkpoint.”
Maryam Rajavi saluted the brave and rebellious Baluchi compatriots in the cities of Saravan, Korin, Zahedan, Khash, Iranshahr, along with other cities in the province of Sistan and Baluchistan, who revolted against the criminal Revolutionary guards.
She said: “The only way to confront oppression, discrimination, poverty, inflation and unemployment is to rise up against the evil regime of the Velayat-e Faqih (absolute clerical rule).”
Maryam Rajavi also called on the public and the freedom-loving and rebellious youth in other regions to rise up in support of the protesters saying that the Baluchi compatriots uprising is the uprising of all Iranians.