EAST KURDISTAN (IRAN) : Divided Komala Parties Agree to Disagree

09/10/2012 RUDAW By SAKAR ABDULLAZADA – SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region—The Revolutionary Society of Iranian Kurdistan’s Toilers, the Kurdistan Toilers’ Party of Iran and the Communist Party of Iran-Kurdistan each have their own ideas about how to reunite their fractured party.

Ahmad Salehi, an official from the Communist Party, told Rudaw that it is impossible for his faction to unite with the other two groups.“Any attempt to unite us is futile because we are ideologically different,” he said.

Since its foundation in 1979, Komala has gone through several divisions.

Aram Mudarisi, an official from the Kurdistan Toilers’ Party, says, “At this point, unification between the Komala groups is impossible.”

He added, “Through time, ideological differences have emerged in Komala as a result of the divisions.” However, Najmadin Gulparwar, an official from the Revolutionary Society of Iranian Kurdistan’s Toilers, said, “We cannot unite with the Communist Party because of our ideological differences, but we hope to unite with the Kurdistan Toilers’ Party.”

In 2001, the Communist Party of Iran-Kurdistan faced internal conflict and a significant number of people, led by Abdulla Muhtadi and Omar Ilkhanizada, left the party and formed the Revolutionary Society of Iranian Kurdistan’s Toilers. 

Soon after, another group split from this newly formed party and established the Kurdistan Toilers’ Party. With international pressure on Iran increasing, Iranian Kurdish groups are discussing unification in order to prepare for any developments that might occur in the country. Last May, the Kurdistan Toilers’ Party and the Kurdistan Socialist Democratic Party were united. The Kurdistan Toilers’ Party and the Revolutionary Society of Iranian Kurdistan’s Toilers have met several times to discuss unification.Mudarisi said that, although his party has met with the Revolutionary Society of Iranian Kurdistan’s Toilers on a number of occasions via a thirty party mediator, the negotiations were fruitless and therefore the meetings were suspended.

For his part, Gulparwar dismissed the idea that a third party was involved in the negotiations, but did admit that some figures from the Kurdistan Region’s ruling parties – the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) — had tried to bring both sides to the negotiation table.

Gulparwar added, “Unfortunately, many preconditions imposed by the other side led to the negotiations being put on hold.”

The Kurdistan Toilers’ Party says that their only precondition to resume negotiations was that all the Komala groups participate and that the meetings be open to the media. They claim the other side rejected these conditions.

Mudarisi said that unification will be difficult, and negotiations need to include all the Komala groups in order that they search for common ground.   “We don’t want to hold any secret meetings,” he added. “We want the meetings to be aired by the TV channels of both parties.” However, the Revolutionary Society of Iranian Kurdistan’s Toilers described these conditions as representative of a lack of will for unification.

“We have to unite with one group first before discussing unification with other groups,” Gulparwar said.Salehi said that the groups that originally split from the Communist Party may have common ground, but his party has a unique standpoint. “We have chosen different paths in our struggle. For example, they are depending on the U.S. to overthrow the Islamic Republic, but we are against any U.S. intervention in Iran. We support people’s power for Iranian Kurdistan but they support federalism.”

“That’s why any attempt to unite us is futile, because ideologically we are very different,” he added. Despite their differences, the Communist Party maintains relationships with the other groups, even sharing intelligence and security information with them, according to Salehi.“Since the other groups don’t follow the Komala ideology, we cannot recognize them as part of Komala,” he explained. “But, this will not stop us from having a relationship with them.”Salehi said that the Communist Party was ready to stand together with the splinter groups as one Kurdish front.  

However, Mudarisi remained optimistic about future negotiations. “We want to organize more dialogue between all the groups who work under the name of Komala,” he said. “We don’t want to take the name of Komala away from any group who considers itself Komala.”