Mar 19, 2008

Iran: People Threatened By Old & New Materiel

Although littered with mines, the Iranian regime is adding new minefields, exporting new mines, and lacks any concerted de-mining plan.

Although littered with mines, the Iranian regime is adding new minefields, exporting new mines, and lacks any concerted de-mining plan.

Below is an appeal issued by the Iranian Minorities Human Rights Organisation:

Land Mine is deadly silent killer left after wars. Sustainable chemical elements used in land mines are very toxic and dangerous. Mine field deeply effecting local economy. Poultry, Animal husbandry and farming are among most effected industries. Victims usually are women, children, farmers and animals. Every year at least 1000 people became victim of land mine in Iran.

Large scale of Iranian Minorities' land had covered by minefields.1980-1988 conflict with Iraq left at least 20 million mines in west of Iran. At least area in size of 24 thousand square kilometers of minorities' lands in Iran had covered by mine fields.

Iranian government did not sign Ottawa treaty yet, which declares "Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction". 158 country signed Ottawa treaty.  

In last decade Iranian government not only did not de-mine effected area, but also planted more mines in area of Azerbaijan, Turkman Sahra and Baluchistan.

The problem is not only mines, it is also explosive remnants of war (ERW) specially unexploded ordnance or UXO, left behind after war or military maneuver of Iranian army, which it is more deadly as they are attracted by children.



Arab area of South west of Iran was in front side of 8 year war between Iran and Iraq. Both Iraqi and Iranian army plant huge mine field in the area. Mohammareh, Shat al Arab Bank, Abadan, many border side villages are heavily affected area.    

Reza Washahi a researchers on minorities in Iran told IMHRO that government is not care at all about mine fields in Ahwaz, the only place that they started demining it in recent years, was huge oil reserves of Azadegan, which recently discovered and it is clearly shows Iranian government is just looking for it's own economic benefit and totally ignoring Ahwazi Arab's basic right.



Kurdish area is hugely affected by mine fields […] Main victims are children, shepherds and farmers. Many mines moved by rain and came down from highland to village's area. Ghasreh Shirin, Mehran, Dehloran, Sumar, Dashteh Zahab, Azgaleh, Nousood, Baneh, Sardasht, Asbeh Shiler and Mariwan cities are among more highly affected area by minefields.



[…] Minefields are plant in rural area and taking huge casualties from local people. News of casualties blocked by Iranian government.


Mine field are in area between Baluchistan and Kerman area in scale of 300 hundred square kilometres, in area of Dowmag and Sare Jangal which are inhabited by Ghanbar Zehi and shah Bakhsh tribes. Also Narmashir between Zahedan and Bam, Pir Sooran near Zahedan, Rabot near the tri-border junction with Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Mirjaneh near the border with Pakistan and Koch.



According to some news Iranian government started planting land mines along Turkey and Azerbaijan republic borders. Some mine field situated along Aras River. 


Turkman Sahra

Huge mine field started by 2006. Ammunition left by army manoeuvre often making casualty. Villagers of Boghaz, Chapar Ghoveimeh and Ghareh Makher were affected by ammunition left after military manoeuvre.



One of the big issues for minorities in Iran who live along the border is huge mine fields around them. By passing more than 20 years of end of war, Iranian government always delay the demining and increasing minefields, with excuse of security.

Iran is one of the land mine producers. Recently reported that land mine made in Iran found in Afghanistan, which Afghanistan is one of the biggest victims of mine fields in the world.

In November 2006 the UN group monitoring the arms embargo on Somalia reported shipments of arms including landmines from Iran to combatants in Somalia in violation of the arms embargo on the country. The November report states that on 25 July 2006 an aircraft carrying arms, including an unknown quantity of mines, from Iran landed at Baldogle airport and was met by senior members of the Courts Union and the Dayniile Islamic Court. The type of mine, antipersonnel or anti vehicle was not specified.