MEK: Protests in Saravan a Symptom of an Iran in Tumoil
After IRGC guards opened fire on unarmed porters near the city of Saravan last Monday, killing many of them, the city has been in an uproar. The porters are typical of many impoverished workers in the province of Sistan and Baluchistan.
Protests to continue in Sistan and Baluchistan
They survive by carrying fuel from Iran over the border into Pakistan, an arduous and often dangerous job. The IRGC typically robs them of much of their income by demanding kickbacks to allow the porters to continue their jobs.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran) reported that on Monday, the delicate situation got dramatically worse when the IRGC forces attempted to stop the porters from crossing the border. This usually happens when there is a dispute about how much the IRGC can extort from the porters. When the porters resisted they were fore upon, leading to many fatalities and injuries. Dead porters were unceremoniously dumped into a canal.
Too many fatalities and injuries
The citizenry of Saravan responded by closing their businesses and holding demonstrations despite the heavy-handed presence of the IRGC. According to reports obtained by the Iranian opposition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran) reported that at least 40 civilians have already been killed during these protests and 100 injured.
Local hospitals are reporting difficulties in dealing with the injuries, especially a shortage in the amount of blood. The regime has typically cut off the internet connection with Saravan to try and prevent news of the protests and killings by the IRGC from reaching the rest of Iran and the world.
Protesters in Saravan and other Sistan & Baluchistan counties have so far not been cowed by the display of violence by the IRGC. IRGC bases have been attacked, police vehicles overturned and set on fire and government buildings occupied.
The regime is to blame for the deprivation in Sistan and Baluchistan
People close to the border in Sistan and Baluchistan do what they can to make a living and feed their families. Some residents resort to carrying small quantities of fuel across the border into Pakistan, but it is a dangerous job. The regime calls this smuggling but has done nothing to provide meaningful employment in this region.
The regime also turns a blind eye to the greatest smugglers in the country- its very own IRGC which controls the imports and exports of goods at 40% of Iran’s ports. The regime’s own smuggling gangs also dominate the smuggling of fuel into Pakistan, a nominally illegal trade worth as much as 6 billion dollars annually in lost gain to the Iranian economy. The loss is again to those who are controlling this illegal trading empire, quietly sanctioned by the leading figures in the regime.
The economic situation in Iran has become so dire
The economic situation in Iran has become so dire that only 4% of the population has seen an improvement in their living standards in recent years while 96% are in or close to severe poverty.
An analyst who studies poverty in Iran but is linked to the regime said this about the situation in the country: “[Government-led] rent-seeking activities; unbridled inflation; the lavish lifestyle of the children of officials; corruption and embezzlement; the gradual dissipation of the middle class; poverty and the deep gap between the poor and the wealthy; and the existence of stunning palaces next to slums; all of these have brought the tolerance of the impoverished citizens to its lowest level.”
Newspapers across the country are warning
Newspapers across the country are warning of the sorts of protests that are happening in Saravan spreading elsewhere. “The society will always stand up against tyranny” suggests the Etemad daily. It added that state-led repressive tactics will never resolve the deep problems facing the country. The people of Saravan are showing that ordinary people can stand up against the tyranny of the mullahs.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran’s (NCRI): Hail to the arisen people of Zahedan, Iranshahr, Khash, and the courageous youths of Karimabad, Shirabad, Ghal’ebid, and other regions of Sistan and Baluchestan. The uprising of our Baluchi compatriots belongs to all the people of Iran.
Hail to the arisen people of Zahedan, Iranshahr, Khash, and the courageous youths of Karimabad, Shirabad, Ghal’ebid and other regions of Sistan and Baluchestan. The uprising of our Baluchi compatriots belongs to all the people of #Iran. #IranProtests
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) February 25, 2021