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Kurdish issue in Iran Print E-mail

 

There is very limited information on the Kurds in Iran available to the world outside. The Kurdish areas in Iran are banned from International press, researchers and human rights activists and organizations; furthermore, in Iran the activities of NGOs are highly monitored and controlled. The Iranian regime considers all NGOs, international organizations, missions and their staff in Iran to be foreign agents; thus the regime believes that they are spies and they act against the Islamic Republic’s national security.

Following the 1979 revolution, one of the foremost pressing ethnic challenges to the new regime came from the Kurdish uprising in the Iranian Kurdistan, who had long struggled for their national rights. After the revolution of 1979 was hijacked by the clerics, and the revolutionary guards took the country’s matters into their own hands, Ayatollah Khomeini, the regime’s spiritual leader, realizing the Kurdish resistance in submitting to the new regime, declared "holy war" against the Kurdish people in Iran on August 19th 1979. Since then the regime of Iran has intensified its oppressive policy against the Kurdish people in Iran. As the result of Khomeini’s decree and the bloody years that followed over fifty thousand people, mostly civilians were killed in the Kurdish areas and many more were displaced. The already underdeveloped economic infrastructure of Kurdistan was further deteriorated and the fabrics of the society were badly torn apart as a result of this imposed and unjust war.

Continued fighting in the first two decades following the revolution and the heavy internal crackdown on opposition groups coupled with Iran’s isolation from the international community resulted in the limited exposure of the Kurdish issue in Iran to research and media coverage. There KI aims to shed some lights on the issue and open academic, professional and objective doors on Kurdish issue in Iran.

The content of KI is summarized as follow:

In "A Strategy for Federal Democracy in Iran" Mr. Mustafa Hejri, the leader of the main Kurdish opposition group in Iran stresses on the need to accommodate the needs of the Kurds and other national minorities with a federal structure in Iran states that "whereas Iran’s national diversity has been regarded as a "problem" by successive regimes in Iran and has been subject to violence and forced assimilation, in fact it holds the key to democracy in the country. Thus, it is in the outside world’s interest to support Iran’s national diversity." He suggests that, the outside world should give the Iranian democratic and secular opposition its full support. A democratic and federal Iran will not only be at peace with itself, but also with the outside world.

Dr. Hussein Tahiri outlines future trends that could assist the development of Kurdish nationalism in Iran. According to him "it is ironic after decades of struggle the Kurds have not yet been able to establish their own identity which is separate from Iranian identity." In this chapter impediments to the development of Kurdish nationalism in Iran are discussed. It will be argued that how historical affinity between the Kurds and Persians, reinforcement of this affinity by the Iranian rulers and the Kurds, and lack of ability by the Kurds to create their own separate identify became obstacles in the way of Kurdish nationalism in Iran.

Majid Hakki in his article discusses the political system of Iran and the Kurdish question in Iran. According to Hakki Iran is the home to approximately 70 million people, who are ethnically, religiously, and linguistically diverse. The central authority is dominated by Persians, who constitutes less than 50% of Iran’s population. The people of Iran speak diverse Persian, Azeri, Kurdish, Arabic, Balouchi and Turkmen languages. The official religion of Iran is Islam and Twelver Ja’fari School. He suggests that a multinational Federation based on the territorial and ethno-territorial principles in Iran can play the role of the balancer between the political and national forces, civic and ethnic national identities to keep Iran united, and mitigate national and ethnic conflicts within Iran.

In the "Kurdish language in the Iranian legal framework" Majid Hakki discusses the state of Kurdish language in the Iranian legal framework; furthermore, the press law of Islamic Republic of Iran is reviewed by author, after which the Kurdish language in the legal framework of Iran will be examined. In order to know the states of Kurds in Iran, the constitution of Iran will be reviewed. After that the press law and freedom of expression in Iran will be discussed. The Kurdish language in the legal framework of Iran will be discussed in the last chapter of the article.

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