Iranian Supreme Revolutionary Guard forces under the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reportedly killed a 10-year-old boy in the country’s minority Baloch region yesterday, touching off a massive uprising against the Islamic regime countered by a deadly crackdown and imposition of martial law, according to sources on the scene.
Amid burning banks, stores and government offices, at least 30 Baloch protesters are dead and 80 injured in the southeastern city of Saravan near the Pakistani border, said Malek Meerdora, who immigrated to Canada from the city in 1993.
Meerdora told WorldNetDaily the Iranian government has attempted to shut off communication from the city, but he has been in contact with sources there via satellite telephone and the Internet.
He said soldiers approached the 10-year-old, Haroun Balochzahi, and grabbed his bike from him, insisting on a bribe. The boy did not speak Farsi, the majority language, and responded by biting a soldier and running. The youth was shelled with bullets in front of people on the streets and died on the spot, Meerdora said, prompting an immediate reaction.
In an unusual display of resistance to the hard-line, cleric-led regime, a crowd set a military jeep on fire and began beating the soldiers, Meerdora said.
Later, at about 1:30 p.m., thousands of Balochs, including many from surrounding cities, began to congregate on the streets in protest.
Revolutionary Guard soldiers opened fire on the crowd, hitting up to 80 people, witnesses claimed.
The entire city and surrounding area is raised up against the Tehran government, Meerdora said, burning down symbols of the regime and attacking Iranian officials.
Crowds reached the offices of the mayor, commissioners and chief of police and beat them, he said, and many soldiers have been beaten by unarmed citizens.
The director of the hospital has been warned by the government to not take in any wounded protesters, and some Balochs have been shot in front of the hospital, according to Meerdora’s sources.
He said security forces went to the hospital and killed people in their rooms.
About 300 people have been jailed, and uncooperative prisoners have had their tongues cut out, he said.
“I mark this as a day of revolution,” Meerdora said. “I think the Iranian government will face more problems.”
He said throughout the evening, Revolutionary Guard forces watched over the people from roof tops, prepared to fire at anyone who moves from his home.
No one is allowed to enter or leave the city, he added.
Similar to the Kurds, the Balochs, who comprise 2 percent of Iran’s population, regard themselves as a nation separated by borders – in their case the frontier between Iran and Pakistan, which also has a sizable Baloch minority.
Politically the Baloch identify as Muslims, but most do not practice Islam, Meerdora said.
Some analysts say Iran’s theocratic regime is unraveling, as resistance movements, including one led by students, grow stronger.
“This theocratic regime is in shambles, coming to the end of its rope,” according to Fereydoun Hoveyda, senior fellow at the National Committee on American Foreign Policy in New York City. “People are not afraid of it anymore.”
Hoveyda contends, however, Western nations have adopted a flawed policy that focuses on support of President Mohammad Khatami’s reform movement rather than on a secular, democratic movement led by students. He adds that while Arabs in many lands danced in the streets in praise of the Sept. 11 attackers, “ordinary Iranians were the only Muslims to openly condemn them and express sympathy to the American people.”
“The American press, as well as the [U.S.] government, misreads the events in Iran,” Hoveyda said in an interview with WorldNetDaily last fall. “They think that there is one reformist movement, represented by Khatami.”
Khatami, he points out, is against dismissing the Islamic regime, which came into power after the ruling shah was forced into exile amid seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran by militant students. The U.S. no longer has diplomatic relations with Iran.