November 6, 2009
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Iranian accusations of separatism and treason - By Loghman H. Ahmedi

I have received a couple of angry emails from Iranian expatriates accusing our party, the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, of treason and separatism in response to our party’s position in regard to the leaders of the Green Movement. In one of the emails an individual claiming that he is a friend of the Kurdish people asks why our party is promoting Kurdish separatism.

The issue of Kurdish “separatism” has since our party was established in 1945, and even before that, been used as an excuse not to grant the Kurdish people their national rights. It is true that our party established the Kurdistan Republic in 1945, after that the Allied Forces took control over Iran as punishment for Iran’s alliance with Hitler’s Nazi Germany. And it is also true that our party sees the Kurdish people in all parts of Kurdistan (Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria) as one nation that has been forcefully divided. And like any other nation, we believe that the Kurdish people have the right to self-determination and the right to create an independent state.

During the rule of the two Pahlavi Shah’s (father and son) it was claimed that all citizens of Iran were “Iranians” with a common Aryan ancestry, hence there were no need for one “group” of Iranians to be granted any “special” rights. Under the rule of Ayatollah Khomeini and Ayatollah Khamenei all the citizens of Iran became Muslims, thus talk about “special” rights for one “group” of Muslims is blasphemy and against Islam.

But what is strange is that the Kurdish people, both as “Iranians” under the monarchy and as “Muslims” under the theocracy, have never been equals to the ruling “group”. The monarchy waged war against the Kurdish people based on claims that the Kurdish people were backward seeking “tribes”. Ayatollah Khomeini declared “holy war” against the Kurdish people and labelled our party as the party of “Satan”.

The Kurdish people have always been economically, socially and culturally discriminated, oppressed and mistreated. We have been denied basic rights like studying our own language in schools, denied adequate housing, food, water, and proper education and standard health services. And yet we are suppose to be grateful and loyal to rulers that subjects our people to this?

We do not think that if the Kurdish people in Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria would in the future decide to create an independent state that this would constitute as separatism, but rather as the unification of the Kurdish nation.

What is very worrisome is that even some individual Iranians and organizations that our party has helped and given sanctuary in so many different ways, often forgets this and as soon as they do not need our help anymore they portray us as enemies of Iran.

For example, when the current regime in Iran, after that they managed to take control of large parts of Iran, started to purge, execute and force different leftist groups out of Iran, which all supported Ayatollah Khomeini’s anti Americanism. Many of these groups sought sanctuary in Kurdistan with the help of our party, but as soon as they felt that they didn’t need our support anymore they acted in the same chauvinistic manner as the current regime and previous regime does/did. Also, during the last couple of years we have helped several Iranian writers, journalists and human rights activists to flee from the Islamic Republic, some of these individuals ironically started to attack our party as soon as they stopped needing our sanctuary and help.

With that said, our party does not seek an independent Kurdish state, but we rather promote the establishment of a democratic and federal Iran in which the Kurdish people are granted their national rights in Iranian Kurdistan. But for this to be feasible, the Kurdish nation and all of the other nations in Iran must be granted equal rights in all spheres of life.

The time when the Kurdish people and the Kurdish national freedom movement needed to pledge their loyalty to an imaginary notion of Iran has passed, anyone that fears Kurdish “separatism” should instead help fight for the Kurdish peoples rights and work to create an democratic and progressive Iran in which the Kurdish people feels part of and not express paranoid sentiments that will only widen the gap between the different nations of Iran.

Loghman H. Ahmedi is the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan’s representative to the United Kingdom. He maintains a blog at


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