A lecture by Vahe S. Boyajian (National Academy of Sciences, Armenia)
The province of Sistan and Baluchestan in Iran, bordering with Afghanistan and Pakistan, has always been a sensitive region in Iran, and such a perception is not only deeply rooted in the public consciousness, but also is regularly accentuated by the state. The spectrum of the reasons for such a consideration is wide enough – from the relatively unfavorable social and economic conditions in the province to common problems related to smuggling from Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The state conducts a purposeful and coordinated policy for preventing undesirable developments in the province that could cause a split within the society and promote anti-regime or, even, anti-state manifestations especially among the Sunni majority.
The aim of this paper is to present the essence of the “Vahdat-e Islami” (“Islamic Unity”) Conventions – a tool aimed at the consolidation of the people in the province – and analyze its impact on the socio-political life of the province.
Vahe S. Boyajian is a Research Fellow in the Department of Contemporary Anthropological Studies at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, National Academy of Sciences, in Armenia.
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