Sistan and Baluchestan insurgency
The Sistan and Baluchestan insurgency, part of the Balochistan conflict, began approximately in 2004 and is an ongoing low-intensity asymmetric conflict in Sistan and Baluchestan Province between Iran and several Baloch Sunni militant organizations which are designated as terrorist organizations by Iran.
- 1 Background
- 2 Timeline
- 3 Foreign involvement
- 4 References
Motivations of the insurgent groupsEdit
Analysts believe that aim of insurgents may differ from separatism to religious motivations, but they are not entirely clear. The leaders of the groups have maintained different positions: from Baloch nationalism to Salafi jihadism.
- Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, responsible for both military and security actions
- Ministry of Intelligence, doing intelligence operations
- Border Guard Command, engaging border conflicts with insurgent groups
- Jundallah: founded in 2002, was active since 2005, carrying out armed assaults against Iranian armed forces as well as civilians. Since arrest and execution of its leader Abdolmalek Rigi in 2010, they were responsible for a few bombings in 2011 under command of Muhammad Dhahir Baluch.
- Harakat Ansar Iran: founded in 2012, they rose up against the Iranian government and claimed responsibility for attacks on the IRGC Personnel and civilians. The group was disbanded in December 2013 due to a merger.
- Jaish ul-Adl: founded in 2012 by former Jundallah members, there is very little known about the group. They are led by Salahuddin Farooqui who has opposed Iranian support for Syria in the Syrian Civil War. They have claimed responsibility for dozens of operations since 2013.
- Ansar Al-Furqan: founded by December 2013 merger of Harakat Ansar and Pashton group Hizb Al-Furqan. They are linked to Al-Nusra Front and are led by Sheikh Abu-Hafs al-Baloochi.
- December- A bomb exploded near a car carrying then president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during an ambush in the province, resulting in the death of one of his bodyguards and another individual.
- 14 February - A car bomb detonated in front of a bus transporting members of Iran's revolutionary guard corps in Zehedan reportedly resulting in the death of 11 and injury of 34 others.
- 29 January - A double-bombing lightly wounded three police officers in Zahedan, the capital of Sistan and Balochistan province. Jaysh al-Adl claimed responsibility.
- 2 February - An IRGC soldier was killed and five others wounded in an insurgent attack on a Basij base in Nik Shahr city. Jaysh al-Adl claimed responsibility for the attack.
- 13 February - A suicide car bomb attack targeting a bus carrying IRGC personnel on the Khash-Zahedan road killed at least 27 soldiers and wounded 13 more. Jaysh al-Adl claimed responsibility for the attack.
- 21 March - Pakistan announced that it had rescured four Iranian soldiers kidnapped by the Jaysh al-Adl group last year. It did not announce any other details. Jaysh al-Adl had kidnapped 12 Iranian soldiers in October and later released five. Following the announcement, there were still three Iranian soldiers held by the group.
- 20 July - Two members of the IRGC were killed and another two wounded late at night during a confrontation with gunmen near the border with Pakistan.
Role of PakistanEdit
Pakistan is Iran's neighbour, sharing borders of its Balochistan with Sistan and Baluchestan. Pakistan's Balochistan province is also suffering from low-level insurgency waged by terrorist and separatist militants against the government of Pakistan. These Pakistani Baloch terrorist and separatist militants groups are allied with Iranian Baloch groups. Iran and Pakistan historically have a strategic alliance fighting these groups. In February 2014 the two states signed a pact sharing responsibility for combating militants operating across the border. According to a former U.S. intelligence officer, Jundallah leader Abdolmalek Rigi was captured by Pakistani officials and delivered to Iran with U.S. support: "It doesn't matter what they say. They know the truth."
Allegations of foreign involvementEdit
Iran has long accused foreign states supporting insurgency in Sistan and Baluchestan. Several sources such as the ABC News, The New York Times, Daily Telegraph and Seymour Hersh have reported that Jundallah has received support from the United States. Israel, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom and Sweden are other states allegedly sponsoring the group.
Claims of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) support were debunked by a subsequent investigation showing that the CIA "had barred even the most incidental contact with Jundallah." The rumors originated in an Israeli Mossad "false flag" operation; Mossad agents posing as CIA officers met with and recruited members of Jundullah in cities such as London to carry out attacks against Iran. President George W. Bush "went absolutely ballistic" when he learned of Israel's actions, but the situation was not resolved until President Barack Obama's administration "drastically scaled back joint U.S.-Israel intelligence programs targeting Iran" and ultimately designated Jundallah a terrorist organization in November 2010. Although the CIA cut all ties with Jundallah after the 2007 Zahedan bombings, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and United States Department of Defense continued to gather intelligence on Jundallah through assets cultivated by "FBI counterterrorism task force officer" Thomas McHale; the CIA co-authorized a 2008 trip McHale made to meet his informants in Afghanistan. According to The New York Times: "Current and former officials say the American government never directed or approved any Jundallah operations. And they say there was never a case when the United States was told the timing and target of a terrorist attack yet took no action to prevent it." Mashregh News, which has close ties to the IRGC, has accused Qatar for supporting both Jaish ul-Adl and Harakat Ansar Iran, alongside Saudi Arabia. Harakat Ansar Iran has made an appeal on Saudi Arabian websites for funding.
- "Rouhani claims Israel, US behind deadly suicide bombing in Iran". Times of Israel. 14 February 2019. Archived from the original on 18 February 2019. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
- "After blaming Israel and Gulf, Iran now fingers Pakistan over deadly bus attack". Times of Israel. 17 February 2019. Archived from the original on 17 February 2019. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
- Zia Ur Rehman (May 2014), "The Baluch insurgency: linking Iran to Pakistan" (PDF), The Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre, archived from the original (PDF) on 6 May 2016
- Roksana Bahramitash; Eric Hooglund (March 2011). Gender in Contemporary Iran: Pushing the Boundaries. Taylor & Francis. p. 158.
- Poyraz Serdar (November 2009), "Turkish-Iranian Relations: A Wider Perspective" (PDF), SETA FOUNDATION FOR POLITICAL ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RESEARCH, archived from the original (PDF) on 18 May 2015
- Chip Cummins (19 October 2009). "Volatile Sistan-Baluchistan Region Is Base for Insurgents". Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 27 April 2017. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
- "IRGC wipes out terrorist cell in Sistan-Baluchistan". Radio Zamaneh. 6 April 2015. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
- "Iran trapped in a ring of unrest". Asia Times. 22 October 2009. Archived from the original on 2 March 2016. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
- "Heavily armed "terrorist" team arrested in Sistan-Baluchistan". Radio Zamaneh. 15 February 2015. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
- "Iran calls for return of abducted border guards held in Pakistan". The Telegraph. 28 March 2014. Archived from the original on 7 March 2018. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
- "Harkat ul-Ansar (HAI)". Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium. Archived from the original on 2015-04-27. Retrieved 2015-04-19.
- "Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice)". Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium. Archived from the original on 2015-04-16. Retrieved 2015-04-19.
- "Ansar Al Furqan". Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium. Archived from the original on 2015-04-19. Retrieved 2015-04-19.
- "Two bombs explode in southeast Iran, police officers wounded". Reuters. 29 January 2019. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
- "IRGC member killed in attack on Basij base in southeast Iran". The Defense Post. 2 February 2019. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
- "Iran suicide bombing 'kills 27 Revolutionary Guards'". BBC. 13 February 2019. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
- "Pakistan rescues 4 Iranian border guards from Jaish al-Adl in Balochistan". The Defense Post. 21 March 2019. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
- "Gunmen kill two Revolutionary Guard members in southeastern Iran". Al Arabiya. 21 July 2019. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
- Mark Perry (13 January 2012). "False Flag". Foreign Policy. Archived from the original on 23 October 2014. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
- William Lowther; Colin Freeman (25 February 2007). "US funds terror groups to sow chaos in Iran". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 1 April 2018. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
- Tim Shipman (27 May 2007). "Bush sanctions 'black ops' against Iran". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 27 April 2018. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
- Brian Ross; Christopher Isham (9 April 2007). "ABC News Exclusive: The Secret War Against Iran - The Blotter". ABC News. Archived from the original on 16 October 2017.
- Seymour M. Hersh (7 July 2008). "Preparing the Battlefield". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on 4 December 2014. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
- James Risen; Matt Apuzzo (8 November 2014). "Port Authority Officer Kept Sources With Ties to Iran Attacks". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 14 September 2017. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
- Richard Zoglin (12 October 1987). "Did A Dead Man Tell No Tales?". TIME. Archived from the original on 16 February 2016. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
- Jane Corbin (5 June 2009). "Obama and the Ayatollah". BBC. Archived from the original on 26 May 2018. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
- "HDNet Original Programming - Transcripts". Hd.net.[permanent dead link]
- "نگرانی سلفی ها از مدل اهل سنت ایران؛ قطر در جنوب شرق ایران به دنبال چیست/ گروهک انصار ایران چگونه شکل گرفت؟". Mashregh News (in Persian). 1 January 2012. Archived from the original on 15 April 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
- "Pakistani Jihadis Abduct Iranian Soldiers". The Daily Beast. 13 February 2014. Archived from the original on 12 October 2017. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
- "Breaking the Resistance with Terrorism and Proxy Wars". New Eastern Outlook. 17 March 2015. Archived from the original on 27 May 2016. Retrieved 19 April 2015.