Baloch of Iran

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Iranian Balochis
Total population
1.5 million
Regions with significant populations
Mainly Sistan and Baluchestan Province
Balochi (Rakhshani dialect), Persian
Hanafi Sunni Islam, Shia Islam (minority)
Related ethnic groups
Baloch and other Iranian peoples

The Baloch are the majority ethnic inhabitants of the region of Balochistan in Iran. They speak Rakhshani Balochi, an Iranian language. They mainly inhabit mountainous terrains, which have allowed them to maintain a distinct cultural identity and resist domination by neighbouring rulers. The Baloch are predominantly Muslim, with most belonging to the Hanafi school of Sunni Islam, but there are also a few number of Shia in Balochistan. Approximately 25 percent of the Baloch population live in Iran: media reports indicate there are 1.5 million Baloch in Iran. The utter vast majority of the Baloch population reside in Pakistan, and a significant number i.e. 600,000 reside in southern Afghanistan. They are also spread in other countries of the world, such as the Persian Gulf states and Europe. In Iran, the Baloch are divided into two groups: the Makorani and the Sarhadi. The cities such as Iranshahr, Chabahar, Nikshahr, Sarbaz, and Saravan are known as the Makoran region, while Zahedan and Khash are known as Sarhad region.

Balochistan of Iran has been regarded as the most underdeveloped, desolate, and poorest region of the country. The government of Iran has been trying to reverse this situation by implementing new plans such as the creation of the Chabahar Free Trade Zone.