Sistan and Baluchestan Province

Sistan and Balochistan Province (Persian: استان سيستان و بلوچستان‎, romanizedOstân-e Sistân va Balučestân; Balochi: سیستان و بلوچستان‎, romanized: Sistân o Balučestân) is the second largest province of the 31 provinces of Iran, after Kerman Province. It is in the southeast of the country, bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan and its capital is Zahedan.[3][4] The province is the second largest province in Iran with an area of 180,726  km2 and a population of 2.5 million.[5] The counties of the province are Chabahar County, Qasr-e Qand County, Dalgan County, Golshan County, Hirmand County, Iranshahr County, Khash County, Konarak County, Nik Shahr County, Saravan County, Sarbaz County, Sib and Suran County, Taftan County, Zabol County, Mehrestan County, Zahedan County, Zehak County, Hamun County, Nimruz County, Bampur County, Mirjaveh County and Fanuj County.

Sistan and Baluchestan
استان سیستان و بلوچستان
Sib and Suran Castle
Location of Sistan and Baluchestan within Iran
Sistan and Baluchestan Province and its counties
Map of Iran with Sistan and Baluchestan highlighted
Map of Iran with Sistan and Baluchestan highlighted
Coordinates: 29°29′33″N 60°52′01″E / 29.4924°N 60.8669°E / 29.4924; 60.8669Coordinates: 29°29′33″N 60°52′01″E / 29.4924°N 60.8669°E / 29.4924; 60.8669
Country Iran
 • Governor-generalHossein Modarres-Khiabani
 • Total180,726 km2 (69,779 sq mi)
 • Total2,775,014
 • Density15/km2 (40/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+03:30 (IRST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+04:30 (IRST)
Main language(s)Baluchi
HDI (2017)0.688[2]
medium · 31st

The population comprises the Baloch who form a majority in the province, with Persian Sistani minority. Smaller communities of Kurds (in the eastern highlands and near Iranshahr), the expatriate Baluch (on the borders between Iran and Pakistan), and other resident and itinerant ethnic groups such as the Romani are also found in the province.

Geography and cultureEdit

Sistan and Baluchistan Province Historical population

Previously whole of this state was called Baluchestan , but Iran symbolically added Sistan to the end of Baluchestan and then after the 1979's revolution in Iran , the name of province was changed to Sistan & Baluchestan without any excuse. Today, Sistan refers to the narrow strip of the northern margin of the province and Baluchestan involves whole Zahedan to Chabahar. Combined Sistan and Baluchestan province today accounts for one of the driest regions of Iran with a slight increase in rainfall from east to west, and an obvious rise in humidity in the coastal regions. The province is subject to seasonal winds from different directions, the most important of which are the 120-day wind of Sistan known as baluchi word Levar, the seventh (Gav-kosh) wind, the Nambi or south wind, the Hooshak wind, the humid and seasonal winds of the Indian Ocean, the North or (Gurich) wind and the western (Gard) wind. The province borders South Khorasan Province in the north, Kerman Province and Hormozgan Province in the west, the Gulf of Oman in the south, and Afghanistan and Pakistan in east.

Naseri Castle, Iranshahr

Almost in whole of Sistān and Balūchestān, the people are mostly Balōch and speak the Baluchi language, although there also exists among them a small community of speakers of the Indo-Aryan language Jadgali.[6]: 25  The name Balūchestān means "Land of the Balōch" and is used to represent the majority Baloch peoples inhabiting the province, Sistan was added to the name to represent the minority Persian peoples who speak the Sistani dialect of Persian.

Many scholars, orators, and literary personalities have sprung up from this part of Iran, amongst which are Farrukhi Sistani, Ya'qub bin Laith as-Saffar and Rostam. Ayatollah Sistani is also from Sistān; though he currently resides in Najaf, Iraq .


The minority Sistani people of "Sistan and Baluchestan province" are Shia Muslims, and the majority Baloch people of the Baluchestan area in the province are Sunni Muslims.[7]


In the epigraphs of Bistoon and Persepolis, Sistan is mentioned as one of the eastern territories of Darius the Great. The name Sistan, as mentioned above, is derived from Saka (also sometimes Saga, or Sagastan), a Central Asian tribe that had taken control over this area in the year 128 BC. During the Arsacid Dynasty (248 BC to 224 AD), the province became the seat of Suren-Pahlav Clan. From the Sassanid period till the early Islamic period, Sistan flourished considerably.

During the reign of Ardashir I of Persia, Sistan came under the jurisdiction of the Sassanids, and in 644 AD, the Arab Muslims gained control as the Persian empire was in its final moments of collapsing.

During the reign of the second Sunni caliph, Omar ibn Al-Khattab, this territory was conquered by the Arabs and an Arab commander was assigned as governor. The famous Persian ruler Ya'qub-i Laith Saffari, whose descendants dominated this area for many centuries, later became governor of this province. In 916 AD, Baluchestan was ruled by the Daylamids and thereafter the Seljuqids, when it became a part of Kerman. Dynasties such as the Saffarids, Samanids, Qaznavids, and Seljuqids, also ruled over this territory.

In 1508 AD, Shah Ismail I of the Safavid dynasty conquered Sistan, and during the reign of Nader Shah, there was further turmoil.


The following table shows the ten largest cities of Sistan and Baluchestan Province:[8]

Rank Name Population (2016)
1 Zahedan 587,730
2 Zabol 134,950
3 Iranshahr 113,750
4 Chabahar 106,739
5 Saravan 60,014
6 Khash 56,584
7 Konarak 43,258
8 Jaleq 18,098
9 Nik Shahr 17,732
10 Pishin 16,011

Sistan and Baluchestan todayEdit

The southern coasts of the province along the Gulf of Oman

Sistan and Baluchestan is the poorest of Iran's 31 provinces, with a HDI score of 0.688.[2]

The government of Iran has been implementing new plans such as creating the Chabahar Free Trade-Industrial Zone.

Colleges and universitiesEdit

  1. University of Sistan and Baluchestan
  2. Chabahar Maritime University
  3. Zabol University
  4. Islamic Azad University of Iranshahr
  5. Islamic Azad University of Zahedan [1]
  6. Zahedan University of Medical Sciences [2]
  7. Zabol University of Medical Sciences
  8. International University of Chabahar
  9. Velayat University of Iranshar
  10. Jamiah Darul Uloom Zahedan


Road transportEdit

National rail networkEdit

The city of Zahedan has been connected to Quetta in Pakistan for a century with a broad gauge railway. It has weekly trains for Kovaitah. Recently a railway from Bam, Iran to Zahedan has been inaugurated. There may be plans to build railway lines from Zahedan to Chabahar.[9]


Sistan va Baluchistan Province has two main passenger airports:


Port of Chabahar in south of province is the main port to be connected by a new railway to Zahedan in future. India is investing on this port. The port stands on Coast of Makran and is 70 km in west of Gwadar, Pakistan.[10]

Industry and miningEdit


Industry is new to the province. Efforts have been done and tax, customs and financial motivations have caused more industrial investment, new projects, new producing jobs and improvement of industry.

The most important factories are: – Khash cement factory with production of 2600 tons cement daily and three other cement.

Factories under construction: – Cotton cloth and fishing net weaving factories and the brick factory can be named as well.

The province has important geological and metal mineral potentials such as chrome, copper, granite, antimony, talc, manganese, iron, lead, zinc, tin, nickel, platinum, gold and silver.

One of the main mines in this province is Chel Kooreh copper mine in 120 km north of Zahedan.

See alsoEdit

Aerial view of Beris on the Gulf of Oman.


  1. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 March 2017. Retrieved 19 March 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ a b "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". Retrieved 13 September 2018.
  3. ^ "معرفی استان سیستان و بلوچستان". Retrieved 13 March 2021.
  4. ^ "آشنایی با استان سیستان و بلوچستان". Retrieved 13 March 2021.
  5. ^ Selected Findings of National Population and Housing Census, 2011
  6. ^ Delforooz, Behrooz Barjasteh (2008). "A sociolinguistic survey of among the Jagdal in Iranian Balochistan". In Jahani, Carina; Korn, Agnes; Titus, Paul Brian (eds.). The Baloch and others: linguistic, historical and socio-political perspectives on pluralism in Balochistan. Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag. pp. 23–44. ISBN 978-3-89500-591-6.
  7. ^ Sistan and Baluchestan Province Retrieved 20 July 2020
  8. ^ "Sistan and Baluchestan (Iran): Counties & Cities - Population Statistics, Charts and Map". Retrieved 17 July 2021.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "From Gwadar to Chabahar, the Makran Coast Is Becoming an Arena for Rivalry Between Powers". The Wire.


External linksEdit