Nov 27, 2013

Iranian Kurdistan: Barzani Could Help Iran’s Kurds Gain Greater Rights


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Following the visit of Massoud Barzani, President of the Kurdistan Region in Iraq, to Turkey earlier this month, Iranian Kurds now hope to see him visit Mahabad, the capital of the Kurds in Iran. Iran’s Kurds, who remain among the most oppressed in the region, believe Barzani could play a positive role in addressing the Kurdish issue in the wider region.

Below is an article published by Rudaw:

After seeing Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani and singer Sivan Perwer in Turkey’s Kurdish heartland of Diyarbakir last weekend, Iranian Kurds wonder if they would ever be allowed to host a similar event in Iranian Kurdistan.

Iran’s Kurds, who remain among the most oppressed in the region as their kin in neighboring countries gain greater rights, would like to see Barzani visit Mahabad, which they consider their capital, as the Kurds of Turkey consider Diyarbakir as theirs.

Iranian Kurds say they would like Barzani to arrive with someone like their own native hero, legendary Kurdish singer Nasir Razzazi, who was born in Iranian Kurdistan but has lived most of his life in the Kurdish diaspora.

“Iran does not have any project to solve the Kurdish problem in Iran,” said Shamal Piran, coordinator of the Free Kurdistan Party. “But if one day, under any circumstances, Massoud Barzani is invited to Eastern (Iranian) Kurdistan, we would consider that as a positive development,” he said.

He said his party was convinced that Barzani “can play a very positive role over the Kurdish issue in all parts” of Kurdistan.

Hama Salih Qadiri, spokesman of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) in Erbil, said that so far Iran has not shown any indication of welcoming any mediation by Barzani or the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to solve problems with its Kurds. “On the contrary, Iran wants to weaken the status of Kurdistan Region,” Qadiri claimed.

KRG officials have been received by the highest authorities in Iran several times. KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani was officially invited to attend the inauguration of the new Iranian President Hassan Rohani, showing the importance attached by Iran to the Kurdistan Region. But Iranian authorities have never received any KRG official inside Iranian Kurdistan.

“If a peace process were to initiate in Iran, a visit by Barzani would be vital to strengthen and enhance the peace process,” said Kamil Nurani Fard, spokesman of the Kurdish Struggle Organization.

“Any visit by Barzani to Eastern Kurdistan without having a peace process already in place would have limited results,” he said.