In a new video on YouTube, the Sunni Jihadist group Harakat Ansar Iran (HAI), based in Sistan-Baluchistan in southeastern Iran, offers some advice to youth.

The purported statement in the Balochi language by Zubair Baloch, a commander of the group, responds to reports that Tehran is set to execute several Sunnis, mostly of Kurdish origin.

Zubair calls on young people to wage jihad: “By Allah, our youth are stuck in a system that has taken them far from Allah and his Messenger. And their thoughts are mostly occupied with this Dunya [world].”

That is a notable shift in emphasis. Rather than focusing on the fight for specific local causes in Sistan-Baluchistan, as HAI has done in the past, it is now placing these within a wider concept of jihad in abstract, religious terms.

Rather than calling on young people to fight for local issues, Zubair discusses how youth have become secularized and infected: “The culture of the Europeans has entered our hearts and the culture of the filthy [Shia-Iranian] Rawafid and Safawi have entered our hearts! Our youth is lost! Islam is calling us but we cannot hear!”

Zubair then puts local problems in this context. He says young people are unemployed and addicted to drugs. This — and the reason for the “humiliation of the Sunni people” — is becaause they have “left their religion” and “adopted the culture of the Rawafid and Savafid”.

Zubair does offer insight into the oppression of aloch culture, as the Iranian regime deals with insurgency in Sistan-Baluchistan: “Our people have joined the Basij [Iran’s militia] because they are hungry, they don’t have anything, they don’t have a salary from anywhere, they have been put under pressure by the government so the Basij is a small door opened to them”

He claims that the Iranian government has promised young, unemployed men from Sistan-Baluchistan who join the Basij a large salary to fight against the mujahideen from HAI.

The new emphasis on an Islamist, sectarian framework returns, as Zubair says that the Shia Iranians want to “destroy Islam” and that they are a “scar on Islam”. At the same time, he makes a nationalist appeal: “You are Baloch. You are a good nation. What do we want with them [Iranians]?”

The only solution? Jihad: “Come to the Mujahideen. The Mujahideen will take you…We woke up and we carried our weapons. We should make jihad against this filth”.



HAI is a local group in both its goals and actions, carrying out attacks — including suicide bombings — against Iranian interests in the Sunni-dominated Sistan-Baluchistan province.

Its goals, as stated on its English-language blog are to:

*Protect the oppressed Sunni minorities of Iran against their Shia government.
*Strike at the head and heart of shii’sm, Tehran and Qum so as to stem the destruction they spread amongst Ahlus Sunnah worldwide (like in Syria and Iraq).
*Establish Sharee’ah in our lands.
*Regain Iran for the Muslims, with the help of Allah.

However, HAI differ from their predecessor Jundullah in that they are far more outward-looking and have connected their cause with wider Sunni and jihadist causes, at least via their media operations. These — including social media accounts in English and Arabic — are almost certainly run by groups outside Iran, trying to link the local group to a wider jihad movement.