Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan
|Founded||16 August 1945|
Socialist International (Consultative member)|
Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization
|Slogan||"Democracy for Iran, Autonomy for Kurdistan"|
|Participant in Iran crisis of 1946, 1967 Kurdish revolt in Iran, 1979 Kurdish rebellion in Iran, Consolidation of the Iranian Revolution, KDPI–Komala conflict, Iran–Iraq War, KDPI insurgency (1989–96), 2016 West Iran clashes|
|Leaders||Mustafa Hijri |
|Area of operations||Iraqi Kurdistan; Kurdistan and West Azerbaijan Provinces in Iran|
The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI; Kurdish: Hîzbî Dêmukratî Kurdistanî Êran, HDKA; Persian: حزب دموکرات کردستان ایران, translit. Ḥezb-e Demokrāt-e Kordestān-e Īrān), also known as the Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI), is an armed leftist ethnic party of Kurds in Iran, exiled in northern Iraq. It is banned in Iran and thus not able to operate openly.
Since 1979, KDPI has waged a persistent yet thus far unsuccessful guerrilla war against the Government of Islamic Republic of Iran, during 1979–1983 Kurdish insurgency, its 1989–1996 insurgency and recent clashes in 2016. Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps officials have called the party a terrorist organization.
Hyeran Jo of Texas A&M University classifies KDPI as "compliant rebels", i.e. rebels that kill fewer than 100 and refrain from killing for more than half of their operating years. In order to gain domestic and international legitimacy, the party has denounced use of violence against civilians, claimed commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Geneva Convention Article 3, and as of 2007 is one of the signatories to the Geneva Call's ban on anti-personnel mines.
Qazi Muhammad founded the PDKI in Mahabad, Iran, on 16 August 1945. On 22 January 1946, Qazi Muhammad declared a Kurdish Republic of Kurdistan, of which he formally became president. The Republic lasted less than a year: after the USSR retreated from the area, the Imperial Iranian army first reclaimed Iranian Azerbaijan, followed by Mahabad on 15 December 1946. After the fall of the Republic, many of the PDKI leaders were arrested and executed, effectively ending the party.
Against the Shah
The PDKI cooperated with the Tudeh party and saw a short revival under the anti-Shah administration of Mohammad Mosaddegh (1951–53), but this ended after Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi took full control again in the 1953 Iranian coup d'état. In 1958, the PDKI was on the verge of unifying with the Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), but was then dismantled by the SAVAK secret police. The remains of the PDKI continued to support the KDP, but this changed as the Shah started aiding the KDP, which fought against the Iraqi regime that had overthrown the royal Hashemite dynasty. In return for the Shah's aid, the KDP decreased its support for the PDKI.
The PDKI reorganised itself, marginalising its pro-KDP leader Abd-Allah Ishaqi (also known as Ahmad Tawfiq), adding new communist and nationalist members, and forming the Revolutionary Committee to continue the struggle against the Iranian regime. The Committee began an unsuccessful revolution in March 1967, ending after 18 months.
After reforms by a new leader, Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou, the PDKI fought alongside Islamic and Marxist movements against the Shah, culminating in the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Khomeini's new Islamic regime, however, refused the Kurdish demands, suppressing the PDKI and other Kurdish parties. The PDKI continued its activities in exile, hoping to achieve "Kurdish national rights within a democratic federal republic of Iran".
Against the Islamic Republic
In January 1981, Iraq supported the party in the Iranian cities of Nowdesheh and Qasr-e Shirin and provided weapons supplies to the PKDI. This move was made so as the party stops Tehran from using the Tehran-Baghdad highway. The PKDI hoped as well to establish a level of autonomy in the area. However, the Iranian forces staged a series of debilitating attacks against the KDPI, leaving them a "marginal military factor during much of the Iran-Iraq War".
In 1997, the party's call for abstaining the presidential election remained largely ignored by Kurdish citizens in Iran and amid a high turnout in Kurdistan Province, a large number voted for Mohammad Khatami.
By 2004, Seymour Hersh in the June 28, 2004 issue of the New Yorker magazine reported that Israel has started The highest PDKI organ is the Central Committee, composed of 21 permanent and 10 substitute members, elected in PDKI Congresses. The Central Committee elects 7 of its members for the executive Political Bureau, which also includes the Secretary-General. The current Secretary-General is Mustafa Hijri.
Mykonos restaurant assassinations
Sadeq Sharafkandi's murder became an international incident between Germany and Iran. On 17 September 1992, PDKI leaders Sadegh Sharafkandi, Fattah Abdoli, Homayoun Ardalan and their translator Nouri Dehkordi were assassinated at the Mykonos Greek restaurant in Berlin, Germany. In the Mykonos trial, the courts found Kazem Darabi, an Iranian national who worked as a grocer in Berlin, and Lebanese Abbas Rhayel, guilty of murder and sentenced them to life in prison. Two other Lebanese, Youssef Amin and Mohamed Atris, were convicted of being accessories to murder. In its 10 April 1997 ruling, the court issued an international arrest warrant for Iranian intelligence minister Hojjat al-Islam Ali Fallahian after declaring that the assassination had been ordered by him with knowledge of Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Ayatollah Rafsanjani.
In 13 July 1989, Dr. Gassemlo arrived in Vienna with his delegation to have talks with diplomats, dispatched by Iran, regarding the terms of reconciliation between the central government in Teheran and the Kurds. Those were not the only talks with Iran, held in Vienna. After they entered the conference hall and the talks started, the Iranian “diplomats” took out automatic weapons and murdered all of the members of the Kurdish delegation, including Dr. Gassemlo.
This section has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages)(Learn how and when to remove this template message)
The PDKI has held sixteen congresses. These occurred in 1945, 1964, 1971, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1988, 1992, 1995, 1997, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2018.
During the 20th Congress of the Socialist International, held at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York City (9–11 September 1996), the PDKI was given the status of observer member. In 2005, the PDKI's membership was elevated to consultative status.
This section does not cite any sources. (March 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
- Qazi Muhammad (1945–1947)
- Ahmad Tofiq (1947–1973)
- Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou (1973–1989)
- Sadegh Sharafkandi (1989–1992)
- Abdullah Hasanzadeh (1993–2004)
- Mustafa Hijri (2004–)
The military wing of the PDKI is named PDKI Pershmerga.
- Andreas Wenger, Alex Wilner (2012). Deterring Terrorism: Theory and Practice. Stanford University Press. p. 240. ISBN 9780804783477.
- Iran Defence and Security Report, Including 5-Year Industry Forecasts, Business Monitor International, 2008 [Q1]
- Neuberger, Benyamin (2014). Bengio, Ofra, ed. Kurdish Awakening: Nation Building in a Fragmented Homeland. University Of Texas Press. p. 268. ISBN 0292758138.
- Monshipouri, Mahmood (2008). "Kurds". Iran Today: An Encyclopedia of Life in the Islamic Republic. 1. Greenwood Press. p. 223. ISBN 031334163X.
- David McDowall (1992). The Kurds: A Nation Denied. Minority Rights Group. p. 70. ISBN 9781873194300.
The KDPI (which had moved to the left in the meantime) adopted an anti-imperialist position, declaring their opposition to the Shah's regime...
- Abbas Valli (2014). Kurds and the State in Iran: The Making of Kurdish Identity. I.B.Tauris. p. 28. ISBN 9781780768236.
- Abdulla Hawez (7 July 2016). "Iranian Kurds Are Rising Up Against the Mullahs". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
- Rodolfo Stavenhagen (2016). Ethnic Conflicts and the Nation-State. Springer. p. 98. ISBN 9781349250141.
- Mark Edmond Clark (2016), "An Analysis of the Role of the Iranian Diaspora in the Financial Support System of the Mujahedin-e-Khalq", in David Gold, Terrornomics, Routledge, pp. 67–68, ISBN 1317045904
- Abrahamian, Ervand (1982). Iran Between Two Revolutions. Princeton University Press. p. 301. ISBN 0-691-10134-5.
- Martin Van Bruinessen. "Major Kurdish Organizations in Iran". Middle East Research and Information Project. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
- Hiro, Dilip (2013). "Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran". A Comprehensive Dictionary of the Middle East. Interlink Publishing. ISBN 9781623710330.
- Michael G. Lortz (2005). "The Kurdish Warrior Tradition and the Importance of the Peshmerga". Willing to Face Death: A History of Kurdish Military Forces - the Peshmerga - from the Ottoman Empire to Present-day Iraq (M.A.). Florida State University Libraries. p. 27.
- Jeffrey S. Dixon; Meredith Reid Sarkees (2015). "INTRA-STATE WAR #816: Anti-Khomeini Coalition War of 1979 to 1983". A Guide to Intra-state Wars: An Examination of Civil, Regional, and Intercommunal Wars, 1816-2014. SAGE Publications. pp. 384–386. ISBN 978-1-5063-1798-4.
- Razoux, Pierre (2015). The Iran-Iraq War. Hrvard University Press. Appendix E: Armed Opposition. ISBN 9780674915718.
- Alex Peter Schmid; A. J. Jongman (2005). "Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran". Political terrorism: a new guide to actors, authors, concepts, data bases, theories, & literature. Transaction Publishers. p. 579. ISBN 978-1-4128-0469-1.
- Belgin San-Akca (2016). States in Disguise: Causes of State Support for Rebel. Oxford University Press. p. 95. ISBN 9780190250904.
For example, the Soviet Union supported the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (KDPI), first against the shah's regime in Iran and then gainst the religious revolutionary regime. Throughout the Cold War period, the Soviet funds were regularly channeled to the KDPI.
- Entessar, Nader (2010). Kurdish Politics in the Middle East. Lanham: Lexington Books. p. 48. ISBN 9780739140390. OCLC 430736528.
Throughout much of the 1980s, the KDPI received aid from the Ba'thi regime of Saddam Hussein, but Ghassemlou broke with Baghdad in 1988 after Iraq used chemical weapons against Kurds in Halabja and then forced Kurdish villagers to...
- Shireen Hunter (2010). Iran's Foreign Policy in the Post-Soviet Era: Resisting the New International Order. ABC-CLIO. p. 276. ISBN 9780313381942.
From 1993 to 1995, Ankara was willing to use its support of the KDPI as a lever to prevent Iran from supporting the PKK
- Reese Erlich, Robert Scheer (2016). Iran Agenda: The Real Story of U.S. Policy and the Middle East Crisis. Routledge. p. 133. ISBN 1317257375.
Morteza Esfandiari, the KDPI representative in the U.S., told me that KDPI had applied to get some of the 85 million dollars allocated to "promote democracy" in Iran in order to improve its satellite TV station. "We are friends with the United States. What other friends can we find in the world, other than the United States?"
- "Iranian Kurds Return to Arms". Stratfor. 29 July 2016. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
- David Romano (2006). The Kurdish Nationalist Movement: Opportunity, Mobilization and Identity. Cambridge University Press. p. 251. ISBN 9780521684262.
The Iraqi PUK and Iranian KDPI have often assisted each other, and roughly 5,000 Kurdish volunteers from Turkey went to Iran to fight Khomeini's government forces in 1979.
- Andrew Duncan (2000). "Iran". Trouble Spots: The World Atlas of Strategic Information. Sutton. ISBN 9780750921718.
The KDPI and Komala agreed to cooperate in late 1982 and enjoyed two years of military success, but when they split...
- Joseph R. Rudolph Jr. (2015). Encyclopedia of Modern Ethnic Conflicts, 2nd Edition [2 volumes]. ABC-CLIO. p. 490. ISBN 9781610695534.
Moreover, in August 2012, the KDPI and the Komala, now led by Abdullah Mohtadi, reached a strategic agreement calling for federalism in Iran to undo the national oppression suffered by the Kurds.
- Zabir, Sepehr (2012). Iran Since the Revolution (RLE Iran D). Taylor & Francis. pp. 108–110. ISBN 1136833005.
- Michael M. Gunter (2010). Historical Dictionary of the Kurds. Scarecrow Press. p. 133. ISBN 9780810875074.
During the late 1940s and the early 1950s, the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) cooperated closely with the Tudeh, or Iranian Communist Party.
- Hussein Tahiri (2007). The Structure of Kurdish Society and the Struggle for a Kurdish State. Bibliotheca Iranica: Kurdish studies series. 8. Mazda Publications. p. 144. ISBN 9781568591933.
Between 1984 and 1991, the KDPI and Komala fought each other vigorously.
- Buchta, Wilfried (2000), Who rules Iran?: the structure of power in the Islamic Republic, Washington DC: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, The Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, pp. 102, 104, ISBN 0-944029-39-6
- United Kingdom: Home Office, Country Information and Guidance - Iran: Kurds and Kurdish political groups, July 2016, Version 2.0, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/578f67c34.html [accessed 18 March 2017]
- Prunhuber, Carol (February 18, 2012). "QĀSEMLU, ʿABD-AL-RAḤMĀN". In Yarshater, Ehsan. Encyclopædia Iranica. Bibliotheca Persica Press. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
- Golnaz Esfandiari (29 June 2016). "Explainer: What's Behind Sudden Clashes In Northwestern Iran?". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
- Hyeran Jo (2015). Compliant Rebels: Rebel Groups and International Law in World Politics. Cambridge University Press. pp. 124–126. ISBN 9781107110045.
- Ghassemlou, A.R. (1993). "Kurdistan in Iran". In Gérard Chaliand. A People Without a Country: The Kurds and Kurdistan. London: Zed Books. pp. 106–118. ISBN 978-1-85649-194-5.
- McDowall, David (2004). "Tribe or ethnicity? The Mahabad Republic". A Modern History of the Kurds: Third Edition. 3rd. I.B.Tauris. pp. 240–241. ISBN 978-1-85043-416-0.
- Tamadonfar, Mehran (2015). "Civil Society in Iranian Political Life". Islamic Law and Governance in Contemporary Iran: Transcending Islam for Social, Economic, and Political Order. Lexington Books. p. 158. ISBN 978-1-4985-0757-8.
- McDowall, David (2004). "Iran: Creating a national movement". A Modern History of the Kurds: Third Edition. 3rd. I.B.Tauris. pp. 249–254. ISBN 978-1-85043-416-0.
- "Praguer Ghassemlou". Yekta Uzunoglu. Retrieved 2018-07-04.
- Entessar, Nader. The Middle East Institute http://www.mei.edu/content/kurdish-factor-iran-iraq-relations. Retrieved 17 April 2017. Missing or empty
- Roger Howard (2004). Iran in Crisis?: The Future of the Revolutionary Regime and the US Response. Indiana Series in Middle East Studies. Zed Books. p. 185. ISBN 9781842774755.
- Return to Arms: Hadaka. 26 Apr 2017. Al Jazeera. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
- "Hostage - 1". Yekta Uzunoglu. Retrieved 2018-07-04.
- Melman, Yossi (2008-04-02). "Israel fails to prevent Germany freeing Iranian". Haaretz.com. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
- Hakakian, Roya (4 October 2007). "The End of the Dispensable Iranian". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 31 January 2009.
- "Hostage - 4". Yekta Uzunoglu. Retrieved 2018-07-04.
- Michael M. Gunter (2010). Historical Dictionary of the Kurds. Scarecrow Press. p. 176. ISBN 9780810875074.