Sistan and Baluchistan

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Province in the southeast of Iran.

The formerly separate provinces of Sistan and Baluchistan united in 1959 to form one administrative unit (Baluchistan is also a contiguous Pakistani province). The region is fertile but has a hot, arid climate. The Helmand is the principal river and the source for agriculture in the region. Major cities include Zahedan (the capital), Zabol, and Iranshahr. Although each province has a separate but intertwined history, the ethnic groups residing in each are distinct. The population of Baluchistan is composed mainly of Baluchi tribespeople who speak Baluchi, a western Iranian language now heavily influenced by eastern regional languages. Standard Persian is more common in Sistan, but the eastern language known as Sistani is still spoken to some extent. According to the 1996 census, the population of the combined province was 1,722,579.

see also baluchistan.


Barthold, W. An Historical Geography of Iran, edited by C. E. Bosworth, translated by Svat Soucek. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1984.

parvaneh pourshariati