Fractured Iranian Kurdish parties debate opportunities, future

“No Western power would come and say let’s implement your demands in Iran. But they certainly can be supportive on behalf of Kurdish rights in any negotiation.”

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) - The leaders of five Kurdish opposition parties spoke on Wednesday in Erbil in a panel discussion organized by the Middle East Research Institute (MERI).

The leaders debated whether the Islamic Republic of Iran was ready to negotiate a peaceful and political settlement for Kurdish rights in Iranian Kurdistan (Rojhelat). They also discussed possible opportunities ahead for the Kurdish liberation movement in Iran.

At a panel organized by the Kurdistan Region-based MERI the Kurdish leaders voiced different often contradicting views, according to remarks carried by the website of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI).

The General Secretary of the PDKI Mustafa Hijri said that the only way the Islamic Republic would ever accept Kurdish rights was through armed resistance.

“The Islamic regime has proven in the last 28 years that it will never accept Kurdish rights.That is why we decided to send Peshmerga back into Rojhelat in support of our people. For the regime was propagating that Kurdish parties had no more power,” Hijri said.

The Secretary of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP - Iran), a splinter of PDKI, Khalid Azizi pointed out that Iranian Kurdistan was not as visible as other parts of Kurdistan in Iraq, Syria, and Turkey where various Kurdish parties and military forces were struggling for political rights. 

Still, Azizi insisted a civil resistance could eventually bring about a solution for a resolution on Kurdish rights in Iran.

“The only viable opposition in Iran is the Kurdish one whereas all others have been disbanded or exiled,” added Azizi.

The leader of the Toilers’ Komala Omar Ilkhanizade, on his part disagreed with Azizi and declared that it was impossible to reach a peaceful settlement with Iran.

Ilkhanizade said the execution of political prisoners and ongoing suppression on women and minorities could not silence people because discontent among the population in Kurdistan was brewing.

The Secretary General of the Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan Abdullah Mohtadi said the turmoil in the Middle East could eventually reach Iran and pave way for changes there.

“No Western power would come and say let’s implement your demands in Iran. But they certainly can be supportive on behalf of Kurdish rights in any negotiation,” explained Mohtadi.

The Secretary of the Kurdish Communist Komala Party Ibrahim Alizade too touched the expectations of a western intervention against the Islamic Republic which he said were “unrealistic.”

Despite the disagreements between the five leaders, all of them agreed that they did not expect the Islamic regime which they said acted on Iranian nationalism and Shiism to concede Kurdish rights any time soon.


Editing by Ava Homa