Mustafa Hijri’s Letter on Engagement with Iran

Mustafa Hejri, the secretary general of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI). Photo: Rudaw.

Mustafa Hejri, the secretary general of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (PDKI). Photo: Rudaw.

Her Excellency Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany

His Excellency Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations

His Excellency Barack Obama, President of the United States of America

His Excellency David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

His Excellency François Hollande, President of France


Mr. Hassan Rouhani, the newly elected president of Iran, has recently exchanged a series of letters intended to portray himself as a man of peace and an advocate of diplomatic solutions to pressing issues, and in particular the disputed nuclear program of the Iranian regime.

At the same time, however, violations of human rights as well as the persecution of political dissidents and activists across Iran, but especially in Iranian Kurdistan, continue unabated. In this regard, I draw your attention to some aspects of the continued systematic oppression against the Kurdish people since Mr. Rouhani came into office:


  • The Kurdish people is deprived of its political and cultural rights.
  • Kurdish children are deprived of the right to education in their mother tongue, and Mr. Rohani is insistent on continuing this inhumane policy.
  • Execution of Kurdish political prisoners continues. At the time of writing, twenty Kurdish political prisoners face execution. Amnesty International has raised its concern regarding this matter in a letter to the leader of the Islamic Republic.
  • All Kurdish political parties and organizations are banned and prevented from engaging in political activity.
  • The arbitrary arrest and persecution of Kurdish youths continue.
  • The trial of Kurdish activists is conducted in an unjust manner and in violation of international standards.

In pursuit of having international sanctions against Iran lifted, Mr. Rouhani is going to make his case in the upcoming UN General Assembly meeting in New York. Iranians struggling for freedom in their country, and especially the Kurdish people, are concerned that any deal over the nuclear program with the dictatorship in Tehran could be made at the expense of human rights and democracy.

We therefore expect that Your Excellency will make sure that any deal with the clerical regime over its nuclear program is not made at the expense of liberty and human rights in Iran.

Any government in Iran should only be trusted by the international community, and expected to play a constructive role internationally, if it can gain the trust of its citizens at home. This cannot be achieved in the absence of respect for human rights and genuine democracy in the country.

My party, the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, has always been committed to the peaceful resolution of the Kurdish issue through dialogue and negotiations. However, as the past record of the Iranian regime’s actions demonstrates, negotiations ended in the assassination of our leaders and an intensification of the oppression against the Kurdish people.

Therefore, we appeal to the international community that a deal with the Islamic Republic should be contingent on its commitment to ending human rights violations in Iran as well as ensuring the political and cultural rights of the various nations in the country through a free and democratic process.



Mustafa Hijri


Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan


September 22, 2013

Azadi – Koya Sanjaq

Iraqi Kurdistan


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