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Iran’s war on Sunni Muslims

Peter Tatchell reports that Tehran’s leaders are intensifying their repression of the Sunni Baloch people, in a bid to create a Shia dominated nation

News is filtering out of Iran of mass arrests of Sunni Muslims living in the south-east of the country, in the annexed and occupied region of Balochistan. It signifies a coordinated crackdown against religious and ethnic dissidents who oppose Tehran’s clerical sectarianism and its neo-colonial subjugation of the Baloch people.

Iran’s repression, which has intensified since August, is targeting expressions of Baloch identity and culture; in particular expressions of religious freedom and national self-determination.

The Baloch people are a separate ethnic group within Persian-dominated Iran, and have long suffered racist persecution. In contrast to the Shia Islam regime in Tehran, the Baloch are predominantly Sunni Muslims. This combination of ethnic and religious dissidence has led to them being harshly victimised by successive Iranian leaders, from the Shah to President Ahmadinejad.

In a March this year, Iranian parliament member, Hossein Ali Shahryari stated that 700 people were awaiting execution in Sistan and Balochistan provinces, many of them Baloch political prisoners. This staggering number of death sentences is evidence of the intense, savage repression that is taking place in Balochistan…..

You can read the full article on the Guardian website here.