Three bomb blasts occurred across Al-Ahwaz (Khuzestan) on Monday, in Malashieh near the provincial capital Ahwaz City, Dezful in the north of the province and Abadan which lies on the banks of the Shatt Al-Arab near Iraq's Basra province, according to the Fars News Agency. Later reports by the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) did not mention a bomb attack in Malashieh.
The attacks come after weeks of anti-regime demonstrations by Ahwazi Arabs, which have prevented President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from making a public visit to Al-Ahwaz. Ahmadinejad made a secret visit to the province in late January, staying in Shahrak Naft near Ahwaz City at the house of the regional executive of the National Iranian Oil Company (see: http://www.ahwaz.org.uk/2006/02/president-ahmadinejad-in-secret-visit.html).
Ahwaz's prisons are over-flowing as the regime conducts a massive crack-down on tribal leaders, journalists, opposition activists and those wearing the kufiya (Arab scarf), which has now been banned for its association with the Arab rights movement. A number of unarmed demonstrators have been killed in cold blood by Iranian security forces.
The regime has recently announced that it will execute a number of activists and tribal leaders, prompting outrage among Ahwazi Arabs. Among those facing execution are the sons of Ahwazi Arab tribal leader Hajj Salem Bawi. The regime is intent on destroying the Bawi tribal leadership to intimidate and quash dissent in Al-Ahwaz (see: http://www.ahwaz.org.uk/2006/02/iran-prepares-to-execute-tribal-family.html).
Amnesty International has recently published a report condemning the persecution of ethnic minorities in Iran (see: http://www.ahwaz.org.uk/2006/02/amnesty-condemns-irans-treatment-of.html. Paulo Casaca, who heads the European Parliament's delegation to NATO, has condemned the Iranian government's policies in Khuzestan as "ethnic cleansing" (see: http://www.ahwaz.org.uk/2006/01/iran-is-ethnic-cleansing-ahwazis.html).