Almost Iranians: the forgotten people of Iranian Balochistan. Exploring armed ethnic conflict and terrorism in Iranian Balochistan after the 1979 Islamic Revolution
The Iranian region of Balochistan is located in southeastern Iran and the majority of its population are Balochs who have a distinct ethnoreligious and cultural identity. The Balochs are Sunni Muslims and have been systematically marginalized in a predominantly Shia country since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. In 2003, organized violence commenced in the region as the Iranian central government retaliated against Baloch paramilitary forces with even more violence. As a result, a cycle of direct and structural violence continues to affect the region to this very day. This thesis is a qualitative study that explores scholars and other experts’ perceptions and images of some of the causes behind the eruption and escalation of both physical and structural violence in Balochistan. It also examines how these experts perceive the construction of “the other” by the Iranian government who is contributing to this unending cycle of destructive conflict.