‘Resolving the Kurdish issue requires diplomacy within the borders of Iran, rather than outside’

Dr Mustafa Shamamy – KURDISTAN TRIBUNE – PART III – Republican Movement of Kurdistan (RMK):

KT: Does your movement have any international support?

MS: We believe, if organised, internal support can be far more important, effective and resourceful, whether it’s financial, logistical or any other kind, hence we are focusing on that. An organised and active internal support can be used as a dynamo to drive the movement forward, and that is exactly what we are working for.

Rather than engaging in the world of diplomatic activities – gathering support for the Kurdish question in the wider context, the movement is focusing on internal support. We believe it is morally right to avoid diplomatic activities and receiving practical support at an international level in order to guarantee the safety and security of our people and the movement’s organs. For this reason, we currently have passive diplomatic relations and a policy of not seeking any external support.

We genuinely believe resolving the Kurdish issue requires an astute diplomacy within the borders of Iran, rather than outside. In other words, the Eastern Kurds need to actively and diplomatically engage with the central government to achieve their strategic political sovereignty and protect their interests using the appropriate mechanisms and legal system, persuading Tehran that self-governance in Kurdistan, will not only result in peace and security in the country but also present a good image of the political system in Iran to the rest of the world that will put an end to the threats of military intervention by powerful countries as well as resolving the social and political crisis in Iran.

KT: Do you receive any support from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and political parties in south Kurdistan?

MS: The Republican Movement of Kurdistan (RMK) has officially requested to establish contacts with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), and lately, the Change movement (Gorran) too . We have met their representatives in the diaspora on numerous occasions – this is mostly to open offices in the region and have our media in the South. Unfortunately, almost a year has passed and we have not had a positive or negative response from them. The RMK is a peaceful movement and believes in dialogue rather than violence and radicalism, and this is exactly parallel with the discourse and politics of the KRG president Masoud Barzani with respect to resolving the Kurdish question in other parts of Kurdistan. Despite this, the political parties and government institutions might in practice have perceived the RMK not according to the strategic and peaceful politics of President Barzani and other parties. Therefore we are hoping that in the near future, they will conduct the policy of cooperation and support towards the RMK.

KT: Your movement is supportive of Iranian opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi – why is this?

MS: Although the RMK in Eastern Kurdistan is not against the Green-Movement or any other movements that are at least carrying some of the principles of liberal democracy, we have never supported Mehdi Karroubi, and the reasons for not supporting him are as follows:

From the RMK point of view, leaders of the Green-Movement in Iran, (referring to Mehdi Karroubi and Musawi), desire an exchange within the current system. In other words, they did not have an agenda for radical change, rather than a change willing to preserve the current political system as it is. They were using the foundation of the system in order to make a usual exchange of power, and this exchange would have taken place between the leaders of Green-Movement and the elite currently in power, but no changes would have taken place for the nations of Iran and in the current status of the Kurds.

We believe, the Kurdish nation in Eastern Kurdistan has to deal with the Green-Movement carefully. Involvement in this movement means declaring war officially with the current elite in power and, with this, an unknown future awaits the Kurds. The Green-Movement never had a transparent view about the rights of the nations in Iran, one of which is the Kurds. Apart from this, and because of the unknown destiny of the Green-Movement, any involvement of the Kurds in this movement will not have a clear future.

The Republican Movement of Kurdistan of Eastern Kurdistan believes the message of Green-Movement leaders with respect to the Kurds is empty. Nonetheless, although the Green-Movement does not carry any positive message regarding our nation, we are not against them. In the future, we shall make our position known towards them based on mutual understanding. We send our message and our demand to achieve political independence and self-governing to our opponents, including the Greens and the elite in power. Our position towards either of these two wings is directly proportional to their position towards officially recognising the right to political sovereignty of our nation. In other words, our movement will support the wing that officially accepts the rights of the Kurdish nation.