ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – Following the resignation of the Secretary General, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (PDK) elected a new leader on Monday.
Khaled Azizi submitted his resignation letter last month, and politburo approved his request on Monday.
Azizi’s deputy Mostafa Mouloudi was elected as the new leader of the Iranian Kurdish opposition party.
Azizi was known for his soft approach toward the Iranian government and his support for reform in the country.
The PDK is a split branch of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) which, unlike the original group, had not resumed armed struggle.
The two parties’ conflicting strategies in dealing with the Islamic Republic of Iran drew them apart.
KDPI emphasizes that Iran has a history of having hanged and assassinated the leaders of the PDK and negotiations would prove futile.
Qazi Muhammad, the first leader of the party, was executed in Iran in 1947.
Abdulrahman Ghassemlou and Sadeq Sharafkandi were two other PDK leaders who were both assassinated in Europe in 1989 and 1992 respectively.
In 1997, a German court concluded the highest levels of Iran’s political leadership had ordered the killing of four exiled Iranian Kurdish dissidents in Berlin five years earlier.
In December, the armed Kurdish opposition whose headquarters was the target of a twin bomb explosion accused Iran of the attack.
A twin blast took the lives of six PDK Peshmerga in Koy Sanjaq, east of Erbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdistan Region.
A Kurdistan Region police officer also lost his life in the attack.
Iran’s 10 to 13 million Kurds mostly live in the northwest, close to Iraqi and Turkish Kurdish communities across the border.
Despite being a minority, Kurds make up the majority of the political prisoners in Iran.
Golala Kamanagr, a Norway-based writer, told Kurdistan24 if the Kurdish oppositions unite, they would be a real threat to Iran.
“Iran will panic if PDK and PDKI put their differences aside and fight the common enemy,” Kamanagr said.
“Kurds in [Iranian Kurdistan] don’t have a good life—no jobs, no future—therefore, they don’t have much to lose,” she continued.
“Strong leadership can move the masses that are already under tremendous economic, social, and cultural problems,” Kamanagr added.
Activists say political parties need to rely on their people rather than external forces for their movements.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany