27 Sep 2012 KURDISTAN TRIBUNE : Part 2 of KT Interview with Mustafa Shamamy, Republican Movement of Kurdistan (RMK):
KT: What is your relation with other political parties?
MS: Our relation with other political parties, as stated in the Republican Movement of Kurdistan’s (RMK) constitution, is neutral. We are not against them, nor do we consider ourselves to be an alternative to other political parties and organisations.
We have good relations with all parties and consider them as our comrades and colleagues working towards implementing the political independence project. Because of this policy, since the establishment of the RMK, we have extended our hand to all political parties and Kurdish organisations in an attempt to establish a solid and friendly cooperation with the political actors of Eastern Kurdistan (EK). With regards to greater Kurdistan, we also conduct the same policy with political parties and organisations – the policy of two or more parties cooperating.
KT: Shouldn’t there be a united platform of all Kurdish political groups in Iran?
MS: Of course. Our project to work together at this stage is generally, media, political and diplomatic. This is to make a success of the strategy of a united front in EK; hence we have put all our weight behind the reorganisation. It will require enormous efforts to change the current political culture and gather all political parties to work on a single project. We are ready to offer practical support to those who step forward and work towards the mutual goal.
KT: Given Iran’s complexity, what is your roadmap to resolving the Kurdish question and achieve national rights in short and long term?
MS: The complexity of Iran’s situation is due to the nature of its geography, demography, as well as it is a multilingual, multicultural, and multi-religious country. Therefore we need to take into account these three main elements before attempting to resolve its issues, it is even logical to call Iran a multination country. Now, since we know it is a multi-nation country, it makes sense to discuss the rights of each of these nations in terms of self-determination or self-governance as their legitimate rights. We must be frank about it, since Iran is a multination country, and all of these nations are indigenous, as individuals and citizens, they have equal rights, therefore if the rights of these nations are not determined peacefully through dialogue and within the rule of law, the multi-nation Iran will eventually be extremely complex and even face gridlock. Because of this, the Iranian government alongside providing Islamic rights to the people of Iran must also allow the people of Iran to participate in running the country and give them the right to self-governance for each of the nations, among them the Kurds, and practically practice the principles of democracy within the Islamic Republic.
KT: How can Kurds in Iran build alliances with other oppressed minorities such as the Azaris and Turkoman?
MS: In our view, the Kurds as a minority within the boundaries of Iran morally consider themselves as allies of all other minority groups such as: Turks, Turkoman, Baloch, Arab and even the ruling minority ‘Fars’. We believe all of these minorities have not had the chance to form an alliance in their struggle to achieve the right to self-determination, though they must spiritually and morally realise their mutual interest and ultimately form a strategic alliance. When they do, Kurds should not become the representative of any of these minorities in their fight for freedom and to achieve the right to self-determination.
KT: The Republic of Azerbaijan has presented a map claiming Western Azerbaijan which, includes a large area of Eastern Kurdistan. How do you perceive this?
MS: We, as RMK in EK, took the initiative as the first EK entity opposed this move by the government of Azerbaijan, and we strongly condemned the request by the US congressman Dana Rohrabacher. In order to resolve this, it is imperative that we start by removing the name of Western Azerbaijan province from all Kurdish towns and cities; this can be changed through the Iranian legal system. We must take necessary steps to replace the name of Western Azerbaijan officially with Urmia Province.
KT: The Luhrs and Kalhurs are two large Kurdish groups in Iran that are devoid from the political equations. What are your plans to reunite them with their nation?
MS: Without doubt, important factors such as geography, history, language, ethnicity, culture and religion are the organic connectors between a nation and its groups that have become detached from their motherland. Therefore if we use these factors to assess the Kurdishness of the Luhrs and Kalhurs, without doubt, these tribes are important components of the Kurdish nation, and even the scientific measures have determined that Luhrs and Kalhurs are Kurds. The most appropriate tool to use to resolve these political equations in Iran, and to reunite these groups with the Kurdish nation and Kurdish politics, is perhaps a referendum in these areas where mostly populated with Luhrs and Kalhurs.
KT: In general, what are your current political activities in Iran and at what level is your current relationship with the general public?
MS: Because our movement is fairly new and its structure is made up of various social groups, it might be too soon to talk about our political activities in Iran. Apart from our media campaign including our TV station, our activists have so far managed to grab the attentions of the public, elites, politicians, and religious leaders of the Eastern Kurdistan to our peaceful projects aimed at resolving the Kurdish question via dialogue with the central government. The movement might not be very large in capacity at present moment, but it is certainly very rich with ideas and peaceful projects and it can have a very effective rule within Iran in achieving our nation’s rights. The RMK can provide the best and most appropriate political solution to the Kurdish question within Iran.
Part 1 of this interview
Part 3 will appear later in the week.