ICBPS- On Tuesday February 23, 2021, citizens in southeast Iran, stormed a government building in Baluchistan in protest of the shooting of several cross-border fuel traders by the IRGC forces the day before.
The IRGC closed a border crossing point with Pakistan which prevented the traders to cross with their cars transporting fuel.
37 civilians were reportedly shot dead by the Islamic Republic’s IRGC forces in Saravan and dozens were injured. Tanks and machine-guns have been used in the crackdown. A number of protesters were injured by gunfire and tear gas, according to the Baluch Activists Campaign.
The Islamic authorities caused an internet blackout in Saravan, an impoverished city in the very deprived province of Sistan and Baluchistan after videos from the protest started going viral on the social networks.
Videos indicate citizens holding protests in response to killing innocent Baluchs. There were also media evidence of people occupying the government office. A video shows a police car flipped by people and set on fire.
The uprising started after Bluchi fuel traders were fatally shot by the IRGC agents near the Pakistani border.
The Iranian Crown Prince, Reza Pahlavi has come out in support of the Baluch minorities, writing on his Twitter account: “As Iran Protests continue today in Saravan, the people of #Iran are saying, with one voice, that the Islamic Republic is an illegitimate regime.”
As #IranProtests continue today in #Saravan, the people of #Iran are saying, with one voice, that the Islamic Republic is an illegitimate regime. History has proven that appeasement has only ever emboldened dictators. Repeating that failed policy would betray the Iranian people. pic.twitter.com/tLgcqPHuaS
— Reza Pahlavi (@PahlaviReza) February 23, 2021
In Iran, in some deprived regions such as Sistan and Baluchistan province, to survive and make a living, cross-border carriers/traders do not have any other choice than to ship goods and fuel across the border carrying sometimes extremely heavy packages on their own backs. Some other times, when possible, they use horses or pickup trucks to cross the border.
They take serious risk due to climate conditions, falling into rivers or valleys, landmine explosions, and IRGC border guards or sniper’s gunfire. But this is the only way for them to provide for their families.
The Islamic Republic considers these activities as illegal smuggling, and dozens of fuel traders are killed every year by IRGC border guards. Yet, the IRGC backed smugglers ship goods, medicine, and fuel across borders to sell or exchange for goods in neighboring countries.
On February 21, the ICBPS reported that a shipment of around 44 million liters of Iranian Gasoline has secretly arrived at El Palito, Venezuela from Iran aboard handy size tanker Forest.
In its October report, the ICBPS also revealed how IRGC smuggles medicines out of Iran while the people fight the COVID-19 pandemic.