Iranian Kurdish parties unite after 16 years split
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Two Iranian Kurdish parties on Sunday announced that they unified their parties again, after 16 years of being separated.
The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) and the Kurdistan Democratic Party – Iran (KDP-I) decided to reunite again after long negotiations.
We are pleased and proud to announce that the negotiations between the leadership of the KDP and the #PDKI have finally resulted in the unification of the two parties. Congratulations to the people of #Kurdistan! #PDKI pic.twitter.com/457N5VLXYl— PDKI (@PDKIenglish) August 21, 2022
“We are pleased and proud to announce that the negotiations between the leadership of the KDP and the PDKI have finally resulted in the unification of the two parties,” the official account of the PDKI said in a tweet.
The PDKI itself was founded in the city of Mahabad in Iranian Kurdistan (Rojhelat) on Aug. 16, 1945. The party has been fighting for Kurdish autonomy within a federal and democratic Iran.
Iran had in the past assasinated PDK-I leaders Abdulrahman Ghassemlou and Sadeq Sharafkandi in Europe in 1989 and 1992 respectively, weakening the PDK-I.
The KDP-I split from PDKI in 2006 after an internal dispute.
Previously, both parties had separate headquarters in the Kurdistan Region’s town of Koya that were both hit by Iranian ballistic missile strikes in 2018, which killed 18 people.
The parties in a joint statement said the split in 2016 caused a great sadness among supporters of the party.
“The people of East Kurdistan (Iranian Kurdistan) never accepted this separation and did not recognize it officially,” the statement said, adding that they now will open a new chapter for the party.
“Since their division, in 2006, the both splinter factions of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan were under immense pressure by their supporters and people of Rohjelat (Iranian Kurdistan),” Sierwan Najmaldin Karim, President of the Washington Kurdish Institute (WKI), told Kurdistan 24.
“At the same time, Iranian Kurdish opposition parties seek to unite their front and reorganize their struggle in the light of regional and international events. The reunion of PDK-I will pave the way for other Kurdish parties to do so, such as the Komala party.”
“Additionally, this step will result in gaining more backing inside Rojhelat and internationally. Both wings share the same ideology and principles,” he concluded.