Mepa News conducted an exclusive interview with Head of the Foreign Relations of the Balochistan National Solidarity Party Mohim Sarkhosh.
- How was the recent events in the Sistan and Balochistan started?
The killing of fuel traders began with the fact that hundreds of smaller cars belonging to the fuel trader wanted to cross the border between Western Balochistan (Iran) and Eastern Balochistan (Pakistan) as usual. They were stopped by border guards (Revolutionary Guard Corps). After 48 hours of waiting and negotiations with Revolutionary Guard Corps, they did not want to open the border that had been open for these fuel traders the days before.
When fuel traders insist and become a tumultuous situation, the military opens fire on unarmed fuel traders. According to information, about 37 people have been killed and injured, of which some teenagers are among them. When fueltraders throw stones at the military, they shoot even more people from afar with heavy weapons.
The next day, the people in the city of Saravan protest and the authorities want those responsible for the death of fuel traders to be brought to justice, but the military responds by firing on the protesters. Then the peaceful protests turn into people getting angry and taking over many buildings belonging to the state apparatus. On the 3rd day, other cities join the protests such as Zahedan, Iranshahr and other smaller cities. The protesters take control of 2 different military posts in cities around Zahedan. The military responds by firing on protesters, killing even more. The death toll may have now reached around 60 people.
- How is the Iranian regime's policy in the Balochistan from past to present?
Since Balochistan was occupied by the Pahlavi regime (Reza Shah) about 100 years ago, they have deliberately pursued a policy in which the Balochs were not counted as Iranians but were seen as a people who would one day take their independence and leave Iran. Therefore, the Iranian authorities during the Pahlavi dynasty deliberately tried to keep Balochistan undeveloped. During the Pahlavi era, there was only one factory in all of Balochistan in the city of Iranshahr, which when the so-called Islamic regime took power, the entire factory was closed.
When the new Islamic regime took power, the Balochs were discriminated against not only because of their ethnicity but because they were Sunni Muslims, unlike the ruling Persians who are Shia Muslims. This means that the situation for the Balochs in Balochistan became worse than in the Pahlavi era. Of the approximately 750,000 military and security personnel, there is not a single Baloch among them. The reason is that they do not trust the Balochs because they are Sunni Muslims and are calculated as non-believers!
Of the 800,000 administrative staff, only 20% are Balochs, the rest are from other Shia Muslim provinces. This has led to 80% of Balochs being unemployed, despite the fact that many of them are highly educated. They are not simply employed. Then they are forced to either move to Arab countries to work and survive economically or work in the private sector with some form of trade. One of the trade forms is to buy fuel in Iran and sell it across the border in Pakistan and Afghanistan and earn a penny to support his family.
The regime in Iran has many different long-term projects underway whose purpose is to marginalize the Balochs even more.
1. Build new cities in the coastal areas of Balochistan, give these to new migrants from other provinces that are Shia. This project makes the Balochs a minority in their own country Balochistan.
2. Seize the land of the Balochs and give them to Shia migrants.
3. The regime has signed 25-year agreements with China, Russia and India where they can build military bases, run economic projects, take control of ports, etc. without the Balochs being given the opportunity to participate in these projects, be a party to the agreements or take part of the profits of the projects!
4. Take Balochistan's water from seas and rivers and direct it via canals to Persian desert areas despite the fact that many Balochs suffer from water shortages for both daily needs but also for agriculture.
5. Systematically burn down smaller slum areas where baloches are inhabited mainly around the strategic port city of Chahbahar to free up land for migrants.
During the 40 years, the regime has built 5 different water ponds where all water is collected. But it is the military that is responsible for these. They do not allow farmers to use the water for agriculture but water in the dam is converted to steam during hot summer periods! The military wants to bring about a feigned drought in Balochistan to force the Balochs to leave their villages and migrate to other areas or countries. The ground needs the regime to realize its strategic projects, ie to move up to 10 million Shia migrants to Balochistan.
- What is the latest situation in Balochistan? Is protests still ongoing?
The regime has sent many soldiers from other cities to crush the protests, arrest hundreds of people and there is a risk that many people will be executed in the near future. The protests continue, but on a smaller scale, and are more of the crater where young people light car tires to block roads so that the military can not move quickly.
Many ethnic groups, both in Iran and outside Iran, have condemned the deaths of innocent fuel traders and shown sympathy for the Baloch nation.
- What is going to happen in the region in near future? Will Baloch people's protests continue?
This is not the first time the Balochs have protested, but they have done so in various rounds during the more than 90 years that Iran took control of Balochistan and overthrew the Baloch regime led by Amir Dostmohammad Khan Baranzahi.
The Balochs have no choice but to try, together with other ethnic groups in İran, to overthrow the incumbent regime and replace them either with a confederate system in which each ethnic group has its own local government or to form its own independent countries. We are aware that as long as this regime exists, the situation of the Balochs will not change for the better.
-How will Iranian regime's position be? What are your thoughts?
The Iranian regime will not survive long. They pursue a policy in the area and in the world based on their ideology. They want to export their own interpretation of Shia in the region and also spread it in the world.
Their way of doing this is to form terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hashd Shaabi in Iraq, Fatemiyoun in Afghanistan, Zainebiyoun in Pakistan, Houthi in Yemen, etc. This policy has made the region unstable and the Iranian regime must be stopped from continuing with it. Aggressive policies and interference in the affairs of other countries.
But the problem is that this regime cannot change its policy radically. The only alternative is to overthrow the regime. tyranny can occur either through the people of Iran or through other powers or a combination of both. But Iran has built a capability where they can crush the Protestants and therefore if the spruce countries and the international community want to get rid of the regime, they must help us Balochs, Kurds, Arabs, Turks (Azeris), Turkmen, Lores, Ghashghai people and even Persians. If the outside world does this, we will overthrow this regime in the course of a month!
- What is the reason of the world's silence about the protests in Balochistan?
The most important thing is that the regime in Iran does not allow any independent media to grow inside Balochistan so that they could write about the situation there and report correctly. Those that exist are regime-controlled media that censor the news.
The second reason is that the regime does not allow foreign media to go to Balochistan and report the situation from there. They have frightened the world that Balochistan is a dangerous area and that is why they should avoid going to yours. The few who have ridden yours have reported the positive side of the Balochs and Balochistan.
The third reason is that we Balochs abroad are few unlike other ethnic groups and we lack financial resources e.g. to start their own TV channels that are broadcast via satellites. We try to use the few resources we have by using social media that are free to disseminate the regime's actions in Balochistan and the oppression that prevails in the outside world. But this is not enough and is not visible to a greater extent. We appeal to other countries such as Turkey to help us with all the means they can to bring about change there in Balochistan.
Another reason is that most countries ignore issues such as human rights and human rights violations and try to ignore them if the Iranian regime gives them trade advantages.
- What do you thnik about Balochistan's future? Will there any improvements in the region in behalf of human rights? Or the sole solution is a regime change in Iran?
The solution is to overthrow the Islamic regime in Iran, replace it with a democratic, secular and decentralized distribution of power between the different ethnic groups where each ethnic group has its own government, decides for itself in its areas and over its own resources but we cooperate on certain issues such as economics, environment, security, tourism, labor, etc in the same way as the European Union.
But the problem is not only the regime but the Persian opposition has the same or similar policies as the regime in terms of the rights of the other ethnic groups. They want strong centralized regimes where they continue to have power over other ethnic groups, their natural resources such as the Arab oil resources, the Baloch coast and gold mines, etc. They do not want to hand over control to these peoples to decide for themselves over their natural resources. This could lead to civil war after the overthrow of the Islamic regime and Iran split into many smaller states. This in turn can affect other multiethnic states.
Source: Mepa News