Iran: Dictatorship inside, instability outside

we believe there is a strategic convergence between the interests of nations inside Iran and the region’s main actors that can bring a new order to the Middle East.

June 30, 2016 21:21
3 minute read.
Turkish Kurds

Turkish Kurds look towards the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani from the top of a hill close to the border line between Turkey and Syria near Mursitpinar bordergate. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI), with more than 70 years of combat and political experience, recently launched a new militant campaign in its struggle for democracy and the right to self-determination for the people of Iranian Kurdistan.

Accordingly, our peshmerga forces have now been deployed to and have a strong presence in all regions of Iranian Kurdistan. During the past two weeks, there has been heavy fighting between the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and PDKI peshmerga forces in multiple areas of Iranian Kurdistan, during which dozens of Revolutionary Guard elements including high-ranking officers have been killed or injured.

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PDKI now has new strongholds along the Iraq-Iran border where we train and organize the influx of youth who are joining our ranks. This campaign has several dimensions to it that were lacking from our earlier armed struggle against Iran, as PDKI is waging it alongside other organizations such as the Union of Democratic Women of Iranian Kurdistan (YJDK).

During this campaign, the party is reorganizing various social forces inside Iranian Kurdistan and mobilizing them to confront the regime’s oppression. Civil activists along with peshmerga forces are acting in an inclusive coalition to bring meaningful change to Iranian Kurdistan, also known as Rojhelat.

PDKI is playing a leading role in this struggle in Iran and views it as its moral obligation to support other national movements across the country. This is the sole reason that PDKI co-founded the Congress of Nationalities for a Federal Iran umbrella organization hand in hand with Arab, Azeri, Baloch, Turkmen and other Kurdish organizations.

There is no doubt that the future of the national movements of Iranian Kurds, Arabs, Turks and Balochs has significant implications for the world. This struggle is the only way that Iran’s domestic dictatorship and its international destabilizing role can be addressed simultaneously.

We in PDKI support any effort that can prevent Iran from getting its hands on any sort of weapons of mass destruction, since the Iranian government has proven over the past few decades that Kurds alongside with other ethnic groups will be the first victims of such weapons. Iranian governments have never hesitated to use whatever means they have in their possession to massacre minorities inside the country.

Almost one year after the Iranian nuclear deal, it is clearer than ever that Tehran continues to pose a serious threat to the stability of the region and to the peace of the world. Iran’s effort to impose its hegemony on the region is boosting the growth of terrorism and hatred. Iran is still the biggest supporter of terrorism and the main source for chaos in the region. Meanwhile inside Iran, executions of political activists are skyrocketing and the persecution of ethnic and religious groups is soaring. The situation of national, religious and gender minorities is worsening and the regime is trying to eliminate various groups inside Iran; it continue to brutally suppress and censor dissidents.

Shi’ite-Persian supremacism is the main factor shaping Iran’s interventions in the region, and as long as this regime exists, there will be no peace or stability in the Middle East. Iranians have been suffering from this supremacism for more than a century. This has been the wellspring behind the recurrent dictatorship in contemporary Iran. This is a critical pivot that links the two main problems Iran has always produced; dictatorship inside and instability outside.

Therefore, we believe the struggle of Iranians to put an end to a supremacist, centralized state can be the key for the international community in its approach to addressing the threat that Iran is posing to international peace and to regional stability in particular.

Thus, what makes Iran dangerous is not necessarily the type of weapons it possesses, but rather its expansionism and totalitarianism, two intertwined tendencies that originate in Shi’ite-Persian supremacism. Therefore, we believe that in their search for a better way to address the threat which Iran is posing to stability of the region, the international community and regional powers need to take Iran’s multi-cultural reality into consideration. The question of ethnic minorities is a matter of democracy, and their struggle with the Islamic Republic of Iran is the key to turning Iran from a rogue state into a peace-oriented entity through a system of checks and balances.

In a nutshell, we believe there is a strategic convergence between the interests of nations inside Iran and the region’s main actors that can bring a new order to the Middle East in which we can find a basis for enduring security and lasting peace.

Mustafa Hijri is the secretary-general of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI).

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