I made an error in my article “Beyond Baluchistan,” misattributing responsibility for the armed attacks, and failing to distinguish between two separate organizations with similar names.
My apologies to both organizations, and herewith a detailed correction:
To Michael Ledeen
It was the Peoples Resistance Movement of Iran (PRMI) that carried out military operations, not Baluchistan Peoples Front of Iran (BPFI)
Baluchistan Peoples Front would like to express its gratitude for your very impressive article on Baluchistan in http://pjmedia.com/2007/03/beyond_balochistan.php, March 2, 2007.
Beyond Balochistan is a well written article that presents a realistic and objective assessment of the situation in Iran. Although there is a great misunderstanding. It was the Peoples Resistance Movement of Iran (PRMI) that carried out military operations, not Baluchistan Peoples Front of Iran (BPFI). The credit or criticism of February military operations in Baluchistan goes only to Peoples Resistance Movement of Iran. Our organization, Baluchistan Peoples Front, is a civil organization that believes in proactive civil campaigning and promotes peaceful campaigns against the Iranian regime.
You wrote in the second paragraph,”The Balochistan People’s Front of Iran, which has claimed credit for several recent attacks on the regime’s security forces in the area, has issued a fascinating and potentially important assessment of these activities. It’s a well written and well argued “lessons learned” from the point of view of an armed resistance group inside Iran.”
To correct this paragraph, it was the Peoples Resistance Movement of Iran (PRMI) that claimed credit for several recent attacks on the regime’s security forces. Baluchistan Peoples Front of Iran made its own assessment and analysis of these incidents. We, Baluchistan peoples Front of Iran (BPFI), publish regularly a newsletter on the situation of Baluchistan in which we reported the news and made an assessment of political and military developments. We have not been involved in any kind of military operations at any time. Our role is to report the news and give assessment of different developments.
In the fifth paragraph you wrote,”The BPFI describes its recent attacks as a realistic test of the regime’s power, and the regime failed the test. These operations were carried out successfully without even one casualty in Zahedan, the center of Baluchistan, which is a militarized zone.”
To correct this paragraph again, it was People Resistance Movement of Iran that carried out these military operations in Zahedan, not the Baluchistan Peoples Front of Iran.
In the sixth paragraph you wrote that, “Most analysts of contemporary Iran assume that the security forces, whether the IRGC or the fanatical Basij, have the situation well in hand, and while from time to time some demonstration or strike may take place, it will always be efficiently quashed. The Balochistan Peoples Front believes they have now shown that to be false. Indeed, they seemed surprised at the poor performance of the Iranian forces (“the Iranian soldiers are less skilled than has been claimed”).
As you have mentioned the Baluchistan Peoples Front of Iran has shown in its analysis of these incidents, carried out by PRMI, that most analysts of contemporary Iran make wrong assessments of the power and force of the Iranian regime.
In the ninth paragraph, “The Balochi Popular Front claims that their ranks are swelling; thousands of new members are said to have arrived.” To correct this paragraph, it was the Peoples Resistance Movement of Iran that claimed that their ranks are swelling and not Baluchistan Peoples Front of Iran.
I would like to express my thanks for raising the issue of the Baluch people and request you to publish this note to clear our position. I emphasize again that Baluchistan Peoples Front of Iran is a civil organization and has never been involved in any military operations at any time. I also like to reiterate that we believe in civil campaigning.
Baluchistan Peoples Front of Iran (BPFI)
Reza Hossein Borr