Five Kurdish Groups in Iran Working for United Front, Komala Leader Says / PJAK NOT INVOLVED

By RUDAW – 27.10.2013 –  ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – After more than a decade of divisions five Kurdish parties in Iran are coming together in an united front in pursuit of a common agenda, according to Abdullah Muhtadi, leader of the Kurdish Komala Party in Iran.

“Five Kurdish parties have found a way to cooperate with each other,” Muhtadi told Rudaw in a recent interview. “We haven’t had this in more than 10 years. It is a necessity,” he said. According to Muhtadi, the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) is the group closest at this time to Komala, the Kurdish branch of the Communist Party of Iran. Iran’s fractured Kurdish groups have been holding rare talks since an important Kurdish National Conference was called by Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani.

Komala’s three divided factions have become especially united ahead of the Kurdish summit, for which no formal date has been fixed. Its aim is to gather Kurdish groups around the world to work out a common agenda and roadmap for greater Kurdish rights, perhaps even a homeland. Until the first preliminary meeting of 39 Kurdish groups under the auspices of Barzani on July 25, Iranian Kurdish parties had rarely met face-to-face. Muhtadi did not say that the conference was the reason for the united front. He expressed the common goal of Iranian Kurdish groups as a “federal, democratic and pluralistic system for Iran in which Kurds can decide for themselves.”

Muhtadi believes that Iran’s other minorities such as Baluchis, Arabs and Azeris share Kurdish ambitions for the present and future.

“It is true they are all Iranians, but a future Iran will not be democratic nor can it stay united if it doesn’t grant its minorities their rights,” said Muhtadi, who enjoys close relations with other Iranian opposition groups. “This is becoming clear day by day.” The Komala leader said that Iran’s different ethnic groups stand a better chance of achieving greater rights if they work together for a better Iran. “History, geography and circumstances have forced us to join hands with other democratic-minded people in Iran for political change today and a new Iran tomorrow where Kurds can achieve their rights,” he said.

For more than a decade, Komala and other Kurdish groups have silenced their guns against the Islamic Republic and sought a political settlement for Kurdish Rights. Iran’s Kurdish regions are among the country’s poorest and Kurds want rights such as Kurdish language classes in their public schools.

“If future governments in Iran are going to be hostile like the one today, then we will have no choice but to fight and shed blood until the end of the world,” warned Muhtadi, who personally played a major role in building an umbrella group in 2005 for Iran’s ethnic groups. “They see us as the leader in the struggle for ethnic rights,” said Muhtadi. “We (Kurds) are the third in terms of numbers in Iran, but we are the first in terms of political struggle,” he said. In Iran’s presidential elections in June, many Kurds voted for the moderate Hassan Rouhani, who pledged to grant cultural rights to the Kurds. But Muhtadi expressed skepticism about Rouhani. He said Iranians had voted for him for lack of a better choice. “There was no other window of hope for the Kurds or Iranians, except Rouhani. People voted for him out of sheer economic desperation,” he claimed.

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