ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—The head of a major Iranian Kurdish opposition group says Kurds will not stand by the Tehran regime should the Islamic Republic come under military attack.
Speaking to the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya TV, Abdullah Mohtadi said, “We do not support a military attack on Iran, but if western countries entered into a war with Iran, Kurds will in no way back the regime in Tehran.”
Mohtadi is the leader of the Revolutionary Association of Iranian Kurdistan’s Toilers (Komala), a Marxist organization that has fought the Islamic regime for years.
The group is currently based in the Kurdistan of Iraq.
In response to a question as to why Kurds did not participate in the 2009 protests against the controversial reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, Mohtadi said the so-called Green Movement that emerged during the protests “did not make any references to the rights of non-Persian ethnicities in Iran and had only confined its demands to Tehran and that was the Green Movement’s biggest mistake.”
In 2009 hundreds of thousands of Iranians took to the streets of Tehran to protest against what they called a rigged election.
Government forces meted out a violent response, killing dozens of protesters and injuring and detaining hundreds of others. Ahmedinejad’s rival and the leader of the Green Movement Mirhossein Mousavi has been under strict house arrest ever since.
Mohtadi told Al-Arabiya that Iranian Kurds demand a federal system in a post Islamic Iran, adding “there are five other ethnic groups in Iran besides the Persians and they all have their own language, culture and values but they have been deprived of all rights.”
Mohtadi said that his party is now pursuing its political objectives through peaceful means.
“In this age, countries have changed and continuing armed struggle is difficult and we have now opted for a political and cultural struggle to realize our national rights (as Kurds),” Mohtadi said.
There are no exact figures, but it is estimated that around six to seven million Kurds live in Iran, mostly in the western and northwestern provinces.
Komala signed an understanding with its long-time rival the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) last week to enhance cooperation between the two groups.
In the agreement, the two parties stated that they support the overthrow of the Islamic Republic and called for a “secular, democratic and federal Iran.”
(www.rudaw.net / 28.08.2012)