Jews fighting ISIS
A sculpture made by the ‘Chai Boys,’ the foreign fighters volunteering with the Syrian Kurds. The photo was taken by ‘Ariel,’ an Iranian volunteer.. (photo credit:COURTESY ROBERT AMOS)


Iranian Kurds told The Jerusalem Post that their domestic situation is terrible, but that the advances of Kurds in neighboring countries has benefited them.

“If we compare the Kurds’ situation to other parts of the world the situation is much worse than even in Syria where the Kurds’ situation is better than in Iran,” said Dr. Amir Muradi, using a fictitious name to protect his identity.

Asked how Kurdish independence would affect Iranian Kurds, Muradi speculated that most Kurds desire independence from Iran and that if their brethren in Iraq, Syria, or Turkey become independent then Iranian Kurds would achieve “self-governance or even independence.”

“Personally, I believe that the Kurdish people will become independent in the near future with the help of the Israeli Government.”

Muradi emailed answers to the Post from a Kurdish area in Iran according to Arif Bawecani, the head of the Kurdistan Independent Party (Parti Serbesti Kurdistan, PSK) who arranged the interview.

Bawecani said that no additional details about Muradi could be released nor could any live conversation by phone or online take place because of the dangers involved with being interviewed by an Israeli newspaper.

Bawecani, a Kurd originating from land that Kurds consider to be occupied Iranian territory, heads the liberal democratic oriented PSK Party. Founded in February 2006, it has offices in Oslo, Norway, and in Arbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan.

Muradi said claimed that the situation for Kurds in Iran is “terrible.” Many of his compatriots are in prison, poor, and do not serve in official government positions. The discrimination is great.

Asked how the Kurd situation in Iraq, Syria, and Turkey is affecting Iranian Kurds, he responded that the Kurds outside of Iran are “affecting us greatly and positively.”

The existence of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) makes Iranian Kurds proud.

Questioned about internet access in Iran, Muradi said that compared to neighboring countries, it is bad and slow. All of the popular social networks and websites are blocked.

The mood of the people on the street is one of desperation and depression, continued the Iranian Kurd, arguing that most think the country cannot be reformed. Iranian Kurds have no hope in the so called reformist camp led by former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and current President Hassan Rouhani.

The assumption is that the hardliners led by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guard, which is under his control, hold real power.

Bawecani, head of the Kurdistan Independent Party, reiterated to the Post how poor the conditions for Iranian Kurds are, saying that Kurd political activists are being executed or receive long jail terms.

“Iranian authorities or persons with approval from them, distribute drugs to youth in Kurdish areas in order to get their minds off thoughts about claiming and working for their human rights,” he claimed.

Asked if Iranian Kurds are involved in fighting against Islamic State in Iraq, he responded that  “Kurds from eastern Kurdistan – or the part occupied by Iran – always try to support their brethren in other parts of Kurdistan.”

Asked about the influence of his PSK party, he asserted there are thousands of secret members inside Iran. “The active members who can be open about it are located in European countries and Iraqi Kurdistan. They are mostly students and academics.”

Asked about the constant talk of Kurdistan becoming an independent state, Bawecani said that the strategic goal is independence, and that the KRG has “the best chance of becoming an independent country.”

The period of autonomy since 2003 has allowed for the establishment of the structure of a State, he said, adding that the KRG is functioning well despite a dysfunctional Iraqi state.

Freedom for Iranian and Turkish Kurds will take longer, he predicted.

Questioned about Iranian Kurd relations with their brethren in neighboring states, he said that Tehran constantly tries to create problems between the different Kurdish political parties and religions, but it has not succeeded in ruining cooperation.

And regarding the upcoming parliamentary elections in Iran, the Kurdish party leader said that there is no real democratic process. “The Iranian regime pre-approves the people allowed to run for office and that accept the theocratic state.”

His party boycotts the Iranian elections and has sent statements to Iranian Kurds not to participate.

“Iran is dangerous and we hope that the world will work together to remove this dictatorial regime,” he concluded.

As reported by The Jerusalem Post