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Iran's Raeisi pledges to wipe out poverty, discrimination during Sistan-and-Baluchestan trip

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
President Raeisi addresses local people at the border village of Mullah Ali in Sistan and Baluchestan Province, on September 3, 2021. (Photo by Tasnim)

President Ebrahim Raeisi has visited Iran’s remotest border province of Sistan and Baluchestan, where he pledged to wipe out poverty and discrimination as he talked to locals to get a close understanding of their problems.  

Raeisi arrived in the province on Thursday, marking his second unannounced visit since he became president, in what is widely regarded as his attempt to fulfill his campaign promise of uprooting poverty and inequality.

He said living in huts due to poverty is not a desirable situation for the people of the area, stressing that any measure to improve the living conditions of deprived areas is an admirable deed for those behind the move.

President Raeisi talks to a villager during a visit to the border village of Mullah Ali in Sistan and Baluchestan Province, on September 3, 2021. (Photo by Tasnim)

While paying a visit to the coastal region of Makran, the president described it as a “national treasure”, and said more attention should be paid to its strategic development.

“We should develop a good mechanism for a production boom [in the region],” he said. “The issue of development of Makran coasts must be seen and followed in a special way.”

“If given the required attention, the Makran and Chabahar regions by themselves will increase the capacity of the province’s economic development and eradicate poverty in Sistan and Baluchestan,” Raeisi added.

He also expressed joy over the unity he witnessed between Shias and Sunnis in the province.

The president continued his trip to different areas of Sistan and Baluchestan on Friday, promising to follow up on the people’s water issue in order to turn the “threat” and “problem” into an “opportunity” and resolve the underprivileged people’s problems with respect to drinking and agricultural water.

Raeisi said the governors of deprived provinces, including Sistan and Baluchestan, have been granted additional authority to resolve their problems rapidly.

He made his first unannounced visit to Iran’s key province of Khuzestan last Friday, only two days after the formation of his cabinet.  

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