In a recent interview with Wala Press, PDKI General-Secretary Mustafa Hijri addressed matters related to armed struggle, international dynamics and the future of Iran.
According to Mr. Hijri, the PDKI has halted its decades-long armed struggle due to geopolitical constraints. At the moment, according to the Kurdish leader, armed struggle is not feasible but may very well become an option if circumstances change.
In his analysis, international dynamics are as important as internal factors in facilitating change in Iran. Ultimately, Hijri argues, a coalition has to be formed in pursuit of liberty and democracy inside Iran. To this end, Mr. Hijri calls on outside powers to keep pressure on the Iranian regime in order to aid those opposition forces favoring democratic regime change.
Asked about his party’s position on armed struggle, Mr. Hijri reiterated in the interview with Wala Press that the PDKI has not abandoned armed struggle, but has halted guerilla warfare because regional conditions no longer favor it. He said that they still believe in armed struggle, yet at the same time emphasized that the Kurds are in a minority position in Iran and that if the goal is regime change through armed struggle, other nations and political forces would have to join the Kurds in that effort.
“If we were to take recourse to armed struggle again, we would need a strong backing [in terms of logistics], something which we do not have currently,” Mr. Hijri said. “In a big and multinational country like Iran, where the Kurds are the third largest nation and considering the fact that the Kurds are economically in one of the most disadvantageous positions, it is not possible for the Kurds to embark on armed struggle alone and make sacrifices [alone],” he emphasized. “While the other nations in Iran are discontent with the government in significant measures, so far they have not shown any readiness for [waging armed struggle]; hence, favorable conditions need to exist,” he added.
Nevertheless, if internal and international conditions were to change in favor of armed struggle, the PDKI will be in the forefront and make the necessary sacrifices – as in the past – to bring about a secular, democratic and federal government that recognizes the rights of the Kurdish nation, the Kurdish leader emphasized in the interview.
“Such favorable conditions present themselves when the Islamic Republic of Iran, which for a very long time has been in a process of decline internally as well as internationally, would reach a point in terms of weakness and lack of room for maneuver that not only the Kurds, but also other nations would muster the courage to wage armed struggle – provided that peaceful means were to prove futile,” he elaborated. It is for this reason the PDKI even to this date recruits and trains Peshmergas, he explained.
Mr. Hijri also emphasized the importance of regional and international factors in facilitating change in authoritarian states in the Middle East. In his opinion, the weaker the Iranian regime becomes, the greater the chances for opposition forces committed to democratic regime change in Iran to achieve their goals and objectives. Therefore, he calls on world powers to keep pressure on the religious dictatorship in Iran since a democratic Iran would be in the interests of the different nations in Iran who are yearning for democracy and the international community alike.
The future of Iran, he emphasized, should ultimately be determined by the various nations living within the borders of this country. In his opinion, a coalition consisting of all those forces committed to liberty and democracy has to be formed in order to replace the current repressive regime with a secular, democratic and federal government that is at peace with its own citizens as well as the outside world.