KDPI calls for referendum in Iran

"It is our right to call for a referendum."

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (K24) – On Saturday, the Kurdistan Democratic Party-Iran (KDP-I) said that holding a referendum on self-determination in the Kurdish region of the country is a democratic right.

During the KDP-I sixteenth congress, held in Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Khalid Azizi, the party’s Secretary General said, “Democratic Party has always been dealing with the oppressive regime in Iran and has tried several approaches to negotiating with the Iranian authorities.”

Azizi added that in the last 70 years, the KDP-I have tried all peaceful means to deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran, but the regime continues the policy of suppression and execution. He believes it is their right to call for the referendum on self-determination.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran excludes Kurds from power, continues murdering the Kurds, responds to our peaceful messages by militarizing Rojhalat [Iranian Kurdistan], and executing and imprisoning activists; they do not have mercy even on the kolbar,” Azizi said.

"Kolbar" is the Kurdish word for porters who carry goods on their backs across frontiers. In poverty-stricken regions of Iranian Kurdistan, unemployed men risk their lives to cross borders and smuggle goods for as little as USD $10 profit a day. Often, Iranian border patrol randomly shoots the men and their mules.

Azizi said he wished KDP-I’s Congress could be held in a Kurdish city in Rojhalat or even in the Iranian capital, Tehran. “Once again we are forced to hold the congress outside of our homeland,” he said.

“It is time to tell the international community that enough is enough, and tell them that Kurds want to hold referendum regarding their future in Rojhalat,” Azizi stated.

KDP-I was founded by Qazi Mohammad in the Kurdish city of Mahabad on Aug. 16, 1945. Two of its leaders Abdulrahman Qasimlo and Sadeq Sharafkandi were assassinated in Europe, allegedly by the Iranian regime.


Reporting by Baxtiyar Goran
Editing by Ava Homa and Karzan Sulaivany