Sistan and Baluchestan province

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Sistan and Baluchestan
استان سیستان و بلوچستان
Sib and Suran Castle
Location of Sistan and Baluchestan province within Iran
Sistan and Baluchestan province and its counties
Map of Iran with Sistan and Baluchestan province highlighted
Map of Iran with Sistan and Baluchestan province highlighted
Coordinates: 29°29′33″N 60°52′01″E / 29.4924°N 60.8669°E / 29.4924; 60.8669Coordinates: 29°29′33″N 60°52′01″E / 29.4924°N 60.8669°E / 29.4924; 60.8669
 • Governor-generalHossein Modarres-Khiabani
 • Total180,726 km2 (69,779 sq mi)
 • Total2,775,014
 • Density15/km2 (40/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+03:30 (IRST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+04:30 (IRST)
Main language(s)Baluchi
HDI (2017)0.688[2]
medium · 31st

Sistan and Baluchestan Province (Persian: استان سيستان و بلوچستان, romanizedOstân-e Sistân o Balučestân; Balochi: سیستان و بلۏچستان, romanized: Sistân o Balučestân) is the second largest province of the 31 provinces of Iran, after Kerman province. It is in the southeast of the country, bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan, and its capital is Zahedan.[3][4] The province has an area of 180,726 km2 and a population of 2.78 million.[5]

The Baloch form a majority of the population and the Persian Sistani a minority. Smaller communities of Kurds (in the eastern highlands and near Iranshahr); the expatriate Brahui (on the border between Iran and Pakistan); and other resident and itinerant ethnic groups, such as the Romani, are also found within the province.

Geography and culture[edit]

Sistan and Baluchestan province historical population

The whole of the province had been previously called Baluchestan, but the government added Sistan to the end of Baluchestan. After the 1979 revolution, the name of province was changed to Sistan and Baluchestan.

Today, Sistan refers to the narrow strip of the northern margin of the province and Baluchestan stretches north to south from Zahedan County to Chabahar County. The province borders South Khorasan province in the north, Kerman province and Hormozgan province in the west, the Gulf of Oman in the south, and Afghanistan and Pakistan in the east.

Sistan and Baluchestan province is one of the driest regions of Iran, with a slight increase in rainfall from east to west, and a rise in humidity in the coastal regions. The province is subject to seasonal winds from different directions, the most important of which are the 120-day wind of Sistan, known in Baluchi as Levar; the seventh wind (Gav-kosh); the south wind (Nambi); the Hooshak wind; the humid and seasonal winds of the Indian Ocean; the north wind ((Gurich)); and the western wind (Gard)).

Most of the population are Balōch and speak the Baluchi language, although there also exists among them a small community of speakers of the Indo-Aryan language Jadgali.[6]: 25  Baluchestan means "Land of the Balōch"; Sistan represents the minority who speak the Sistani dialect of Persian.[citation needed]

Administrative divisions[edit]

Sistan and Baluchestan province is subdivided into 26 counties: Bampur County, Chabahar County, Dalgan County, Dashtiari County, Fanuj County, Golshan County, Hamun County, Hirmand County, Iranshahr County, Khash County, Konarak County, Lashar County, Mehrestan County, Mirjaveh County, Nik Shahr County, Nimruz County, Qasr-e Qand County, Rask County, Saravan County, Sarbaz County, Sib and Suran County, Taftan County, Zabol County, Zahedan County, Zarabad County, and Zehak County.


The following table shows the ten largest cities of Sistan and Baluchestan Province:[7]

Rank Name Population (2016)
1 Zahedan 587,730
2 Zabol 134,950
3 Iranshahr 113,750
4 Chabahar 106,739
5 Saravan 60,014
6 Khash 56,584
7 Konarak 43,258
8 Jaleq 18,098
9 Nik Shahr 17,732
10 Pishin 16,011


The minority Sistani people of Sistan and Baluchestan province are Shia Muslims, and the majority Baloch people of the Baluchestan area in the province are Sunni Muslims.[8]


In the epigraphs of Bistoon and Persepolis, Sistan is mentioned as one of the eastern territories of Darius the Great. The name Sistan, as mentioned above, is derived from Saka (also sometimes Saga, or Sagastan), a Central Asian tribe that had taken control over this area in the year 128 BC. During the Arsacid Dynasty (248 BC to 224 AD), the province became the seat of Suren-Pahlav Clan. From the Sassanid period until the early Islamic period, Sistan flourished considerably.

During the reign of Ardashir I of Persia, Sistan came under the jurisdiction of the Sassanids, and in 644 AD, the Arab Muslims gained control as the Persian empire was in its final moments of collapsing.

During the reign of the second Sunni caliph, Omar ibn Al-Khattab, this territory was conquered by the Arabs and an Arab commander was assigned as governor. The famous Persian ruler Ya'qub-i Laith Saffari, whose descendants dominated this area for many centuries, later became governor of this province. In 916 AD, Baluchestan was ruled by the Daylamids and thereafter the Seljuqids, when it became a part of Kerman. Dynasties such as the Saffarids, Samanids, Qaznavids, and Seljuqids, also ruled over this territory.

In 1508 AD, Shah Ismail I of the Safavid dynasty conquered Sistan, and during the reign of Nader Shah, there was further turmoil.

Sistan and Baluchestan today[edit]

The southern coasts of the province along the Gulf of Oman

Sistan and Baluchestan is the poorest of Iran's 31 provinces, with a HDI score of 0.688.[2]

The government of Iran has been implementing new plans such as creating the Chabahar Free Trade-Industrial Zone.

Mountains in Chabahar County

Colleges and universities[edit]

  1. University of Sistan and Baluchestan
  2. Chabahar Maritime University
  3. Zabol University
  4. Islamic Azad University of Iranshahr
  5. Islamic Azad University of Zahedan[9]
  6. Zahedan University of Medical Sciences[10]
  7. Zabol University of Medical Sciences
  8. International University of Chabahar
  9. Velayat University of Iranshar
  10. Jamiah Darul Uloom Zahedan

Landmarks such as the Firuzabad Castle, Rostam Castle and the Naseri Castle are located in the province.


Road transport[edit]

National rail network[edit]

The city of Zahedan has been connected to Quetta in Pakistan for a century with a broad gauge railway. It has weekly trains for Kovaitah. Recently a railway from Bam, Iran to Zahedan has been inaugurated. There may be plans to build railway lines from Zahedan to Chabahar.[11]


Aerial view of Beris on the Gulf of Oman.

Sistan va Baluchistan Province has two main passenger airports:


Port of Chabahar in south of province is the main port to be connected by a new railway to Zahedan in future. India is investing on this port. The port stands on Coast of Makran and is 70 km in west of Gwadar, Pakistan.[12]



Industry is new to the province. Efforts have been done and tax, customs and financial motivations have caused more industrial investment, new projects, new producing jobs and improvement of industry. The most important factories are the Khash cement factory with production of 2600 tons cement daily and three other cement.

Factories under construction:

  • Cotton cloth and fishing net weaving factories and the brick factory can be named as well.

The province has important geological and metal mineral potentials such as chrome, copper, granite, antimony, talc, manganese, iron, lead, zinc, tin, nickel, platinum, gold and silver.

One of the main mines in this province is Chel Kooreh copper mine in 120 km north of Zahedan.

Sistan embroidery has been an ancient handicraft of the region that has been traced as far back as 5th-century BC, originating from the Scythians.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 March 2017. Retrieved 19 March 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ a b "Sub-national HDI – Area Database – Global Data Lab". Retrieved 13 September 2018.
  3. ^ "معرفی استان سیستان و بلوچستان". Retrieved 13 March 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ "آشنایی با استان سیستان و بلوچستان". Retrieved 13 March 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ "Census 2016 | Iran Data Portal". Retrieved 17 November 2022.
  6. ^ Delforooz, Behrooz Barjasteh (2008). "A sociolinguistic survey of among the Jagdal in Iranian Balochistan". In Jahani, Carina; Korn, Agnes; Titus, Paul Brian (eds.). The Baloch and others: linguistic, historical and socio-political perspectives on pluralism in Balochistan. Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag. pp. 23–44. ISBN 978-3-89500-591-6.
  7. ^ "Sistan and Baluchestan (Iran): Counties & Cities – Population Statistics, Charts and Map". Retrieved 17 July 2021.
  8. ^ Sistan and Baluchestan Province Retrieved 20 July 2020
  9. ^ "دانشگاه آزاد اسلامی واحد زاهدان". Retrieved 25 November 2021.
  10. ^ "Zahedan University of Medical Sciences(zdmu)". 17 July 2007. Archived from the original on 17 July 2007. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
  11. ^[bare URL PDF]
  12. ^ "From Gwadar to Chabahar, the Makran Coast Is Becoming an Arena for Rivalry Between Powers". The Wire.
  13. ^ "هفت‌هزار سال هنر در یک سرزمین" [Seven thousand years of art in one land]. ایسنا (in Persian). 15 March 2017. Retrieved 7 October 2022.


External links[edit]