Iranian Kurds see no change in Iran, opt for armed struggle

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Mihammed Salih Qadiri, member of the KDP-I's Central Committee in Iranian Kurdistan. Photo: ARA News

ARA News 

ERBIL – The Iranian Kurds see no difference in the repressive mentality of Iran since the assassination of Sadegh Saharafkani, 24 years ago, and that this is the reason they launched their armed struggle again inside Iran, a senior Kurdish politician from Iranian Kurdistan told ARA News. 

On Saturday, Kurds revived the 24th anniversary of the assassination of Sharafkandi, the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party-Iran (KDP-I). He was murdered by assassins at Berlin’s Mykonos restaurant on September 17, 1992, along with two of his deputies.

“Since then nothing has changed in the system and ideology of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Maybe they deal with some countries, but inside Iran nothing has changed. We consider Iran as the mother of terrorism,” said Mihammed Salih Qadiri, a member of the KDP-I’s Central Committee.

The Kurdish official said that the Iranian nuclear deal in fact extended the age of the Iranian regime for 25 more years.

“The Iranian regime has got a lot of benefit from the nuclear deal with the West. Iran has been using the deal to spread its influence in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, and back Hezbollah [militia] in Lebanon. Moreover, the Iranian authorities have improved their relations with Russia. The nuclear deal made America and Europe weaker, and it’s not good for the stability of the region,” Qadiri told ARA News in an interview on Sunday.

Therefore, the Iranian Kurds decided to fight. “The Iranian regime controlled Iranian Kurdistan for 20 years, and nothing has changed,” he said.

Clashes between PDK-I’s Peshmerga Forces and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards erupted on June 15 and have continued ever since. During the past week, Iran has escalated the conflict into a full-scale war, including the shelling of civilian populated areas in both eastern Kurdistan (also known as Iranian Kurdistan) and southern Kurdistan (or Iraqi Kurdistan).

However, some analysts suggest that it’s not a good idea for the Iranian Kurds to restart the fight against Iran, since their camps are inside the Iraqi Kurdistan Region’s territory near the Iranian border. The Iranian military forces have bombed the border the last few days, and might use it to threaten the Iraqi Kurds.

But the official says it will not affect the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in a negative way. “The influence of Iran will decrease in Iraqi Kurdistan. But we believe that the Kurdish struggle in Iran won’t affect the Kurdish independence referendum in Iraq,” he said.

Qadiri added that they don’t need the KRG to make bases on the border. “This border was never controlled by Iraq or Iran, we only have an agreement with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) to be there,” he said.

Furthermore, he argued that the presence of Iranian Kurdish Peshmergas on the border prevents the infiltration of terrorist groups. “Otherwise, Iran will send terrorist groups that cross the border into Iraq and act against the KRG.” 

While the world is focused on the war against ISIS, the PDK-I wants to show the world that the Kurds are oppressed by Iran. “We can only push the Iranian regime by force. This regime doesn’t understand dialogue and peaceful negotiations.”

However, the Iranian Kurdish parties, apart from the Kurdistan Freedom Party (PAK), are not involved in the fight against ISIS, after Iran pressured the KRG to not allow the Iranian Kurdish Peshmerga forces on the anti-ISIS frontline in northern Iraq. “But if they need us, we are ready to join the fight against ISIS,” the Iranian Kurdish official told ARA News.

“The Iranian regime is scared of the Peshmerga forces, and this will also help the Baluchi people,” he said about the stateless Baluchi community in Iran.

Dozens of former Peshmerga commanders returned to the Peshmerga camps to join the fight on the Iraqi-Iranian border.

Iran has accused Saudi Arabia of supporting the Iranian Kurds to rise up against the Iranian government, but the Kurds deny this. “This propaganda is nothing new; in the past they accused America and Israel of supporting our forces against Iran, but the Iranian authorities have no proof to support this claim,” he said.

“The Iranian regime always tries to export its problems, accusing the opposition forces of being backed by foreign countries. However, we stress that so far there has been no foreign support to the Kurdish people in Iran,” he told ARA News. “But if anyone want to support us to fight Iran, we would welcome this.” 

The official said that it would be better for the West to support the ‘nations inside Iran’ rather than making deals with the Iranian regime.

“The Iranian regime is a threat for all of the Middle East, and the West should understand this, “ he said.

The Kurdish official further said that there are millions of jobless people in Iran. “This shows that the Iranian regime doesn’t take care of its people, there are no women rights and no human rights,” he said.

“We predict that with the ongoing changes in the region, the Iranian regime will also be affected. One day, change will find its way into Iran,” he concluded.

Interview by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg

Source: ARA News

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