The attack on a vehicle belonging to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) in Balochistan, has opened a new door to the crisis of ethnicities and sects in Iran. “It is the danger that threatens the current situation in the country,” Milad Hedayati the researcher on Iranian affairs says.
Hedayati points out that the country is currently paying the price for the regime’s racist policies against the ethnics that have formed Iranian society for 40 years.
It is noteworthy that Muhammad Hadi Marashi, the security assistant to the governor of Balochistan, announced on Tuesday that a vehicle of the (IRGC) was attacked by an armed group, accusing the Baloch Jaish ul-Adl group of being behind the attack.
Small attack with big connotations
“Although he attack is very small in the security sense, it carries great connotations about the impact of the existing regime’s policies against the non-Persian ethnicities in Iran and their sense of belonging to the country, especially since all of those ethnicities and sects in Iran suffer from an exclusionary state and deprivation of rights,” this is what Hedayati said in his comment on the incident.
It is noteworthy that Jaish ul-Adl, which belongs to the Baluchi ethnicity and the Sunni sect, adopted the operation, announcing that it had killed 5 Revolutionary Guard members, captured 3 others.
In the same context, Hedayati confirms that the non-Persian ethnicities, whether Baluchis, Kurds, Azeris, or Arabs of different religious affiliations, have come to consider the Iranian army as an occupying power that controls their regions, especially since those lands are their original home.
He indicates that only in the central regions of Iran Persians are a majority and indigenous population.
Hedayati refers that Jaish ul-Adl is not the only an armed force opposing the Iranian regime, in light of the presence of many groups of other ethnicities bearing the same orientation and outlook for the existing regime, specifically in Kurdistan with a Kurdish majority and the Al-Ahwaz region with an Arab majority. He stresses that those regions are living in an unacceptable state of marginalization and persecution.
It is noteworthy that the Iranian regime had previously accused Ahwazi groups of responsibility for the attack, which targeted a celebration of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in 2018, after which the Iranian judiciary issued a series of death sentences against Ahwazi citizens for these attacks.
Encouraging internal and external conditions
Saad Al-Yafei, an expert on Middle East affairs, sees in the state of turmoil inside the country and the security and political instability in Iran, a condition that may encourage separatist movements to launch more attacks against Iranian forces, specifically the Revolutionary Guard, which is considered the most repressive tool of the Iranian regime.
Al-Yafei points out that the international stance on the Iranian regime may be a catalyst for these movements to express their issues and bring them to the international arena, in light of the ongoing persecution.
He indicates the stance of Persian Iranians who reject the regime may push these movements to escalate further against the regime and its institutions, considering that the Iranian regime does not have any popular support except for that of the extremists.
In addition, Al-Yafei stresses that the ethnic crisis in Iran is one of the biggest problems in the country, especially since unofficial statistics indicate that at least 60 percent of Iran’s population are non-Persians and those who reject the Persian state project.
“Beside the persecution policy that these ethnicities are going through, most of their children consider that they are paying the price for the projects of the current regime, and that they are victims of the economic sanctions imposed by the international community against Iran. In addition to the fact that those projects adopted by the regime target the children of neighboring countries of the same ethnicity, as is The case, for example, with regard to the Arabs or the Kurds or the Baloch,” Al-Yafei added.
The Iranian authorities ’concerns about the state of division also appear through their stance on the Karabakh region crisis between Armenia and Azerbaijan, as Al-Yafei says.
“Although the Azeris are members of the Shiite community, Iran supported Armenia in its conflict with the state of Azerbaijan, for fear that the victory of Azerbaijan would affect the separatism of Iranian Azeris, who demand the separation of the province of Azerbaijan from Iran,” Al-Yafei added.
Several provinces in Iran, especially Ahwaz and Kurdistan, have witnessed, during the past years, several armed uprisings demanding the overthrow of Iranian rule and the establishment of states independent of Iran.
The death of Supreme Leader and a decisive moment
Armed operations and demands for secession and self-determination for regions of non-Persian ethnicity may escalate, according to Mahdi Rasoul the political analyst, in the event of a power struggle within the Iranian regime after the death of Ali Khamenei the Supreme Leader.
Rasoul points out that all the facts are inside Iran Confirms that the fire of that conflict is burning under the ashes, pending the moment of the official announcement of the death of “Khamenei”.
It is noteworthy, that Iranian sources had revealed earlier, that there were differences within the leadership of the Iranian regime after the spread of news of the Supreme Leader ‘s intention to inherit his son Mojtaba, amid the refusal of many of the nominated figures to fill this position, which is considered the highest position in Iran.
Rasoul states that these conflicts will represent an opportunity for the movements hostile to the Iranian regime to achieve their goals by getting rid of its tutelage and its racist policy, which means that the Iranian state’s entity in its current form has become threatened, as he described it.