Monday, 17 March 2008

IMHRO: Iranian government ignoring Minefields in Minorities’ area

Iranian Minorities’ Human Right Organisation (IMHRO)



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 kilometres 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”
[2]. 158 country singed Ottawa treaty.

In last decade Iranian government not only did not demined 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. Most area of Kurdistan becomes mine field by Iranian government in aim to fight Kurdish gorilla fighters. 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.


Since 2000 government started to plant land mines to stop Baluchi armed groups. Minefields are plant in rural area and taking huge casualties from local people. News of casualties blocked by Iranian government. Bodies of victims always left on road to frightening Baluchi armed groups.

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
[5], 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.

Please write an appeal to UN Mine action bodies and ask them to call on Iran for demining effecting area by mine fields also stopping planting it in new areas. Also write to Iranian government and show your concern for land mines of minorities land and ask them to demine it.

Please send your appeal to:

United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS)
Two United Nations Plaza,
6th Floor,
New York, NY 10017,

United Nation Development Programme (UNDP)
Mine Action TeamOne United Nations Plaza,
20th Floor, New York,
NY 10017,

United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA)
United Nations,
Room S-3170,
New York, NY 10017,

Supreme leader of Iran
Sayyed Ali Khamenei
E-mail via web site

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Palais des Nations CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Chairwoman of European parliament Human Rights committee
Mrs Hélène FLAUTRE
Bureau d'Hélène Flautre au Parlement européen8G130, rue WierzB-1049, Bruxelles, Belgique


[6] Report of the Monitoring Group on Somalia pursuant to Security Council resolution 1676 (2006),” S/2006/913, 22 November 2006 p. 62

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