Iran’s latest threats against PDKI come against the backdrop of southern (Iraqi) Kurdistan’s planned independence referendum and PDKI’s support for it. The latest threat was issued by Ali Shamkhani, head of the Iranian Islamist regime’s security council. PDKI leader Mustafa Hijri said in an interview that the party’s Peshmerga Forces are ready to repel any attack by Iran.
Shamkhani threatened to invade southern Kurdistan in the event of a declaration of independence to attack PDKI and other Kurdish organizations, which he described as “counter-revolutionary”.
PDKI has since 1979 and the hijacking of the Iranian revolution by the Islamists opposed the Islamist regime in Tehran ideologically, politically and militarily. PDKI offers an alternative governing model for Iran, centered on a federal and democratic formula of peaceful coexistence between Iran’s different nations.
PDKI and other organizations that have been banned, or declared “dissolved”, by the Islamist regime have bases in southern Kurdistan. Since spring of 2015, PDKI’s Peshmerga Forces have returned to the mountains of Kurdistan and established several military bases in the border area between southern and eastern (Iranian) Kurdistan.
Shamkhani declared that Iran will not abide by any previous agreements with the Kurdistan Regional Government and that Iran will close the borders, followed by military attacks against PDKI and other Kurdish organizations.
PDKI has declared its support for southern Kurdistan’s independence referendum. This support is consistent with PDKI’s principled stance on the Kurdish people’s right to self-determination in all parts of Kurdistan.
The Kurdish nation has been divided against its will between four states and has survived decades of forced assimilation and genocide. The right of the Kurdish people to determine its own destiny is a democratic means to remedy this historical injustice.
In a statement earlier this week, PDKI called on the Kurdish people in eastern Kurdistan and in the diaspora to support southern Kurdistan’s independence referendum.
PDKI welcomes southern Kurdistan’s independence, which it views as the resurrection of the Republic of Kurdistan, established by PDKI in 1946 in eastern Kurdistan.
In an interview with the Kurdish network Rudaw, Mustafa Hijri, the leader of PDKI, said that they have taken necessary precautions in response to Iranian threats. Hijri also said that has visited PDKI’s Peshmerga Forces along the border with eastern Kurdistan and that they are ready to repel any attack by Iran.
Hijri also said that an invasion of southern Kurdistan by Iran, preceded or followed by the closure of borders, is unlikely in view of the economic interdependence between Iran and southern Kurdistan.
“In fact, Iran is more dependent on southern Kurdistan than the other way around”, he said. Hijri also factored in persisting economic problems and rising social discontent in Iran in his assessment, thus providing disincentives for the Islamist regime to go ahead with its threats.
“Therefore, closing the borders will be detrimental to their [Iran’s] interests,” he added.
Hijri also drew a historical parallel to Turkey’s initial hostility toward southern Kurdistan following the formation of the Kurdistan Regional Government in the 1990s.
“Eventually, Turkey moderated its stance, developed relations with southern Kurdistan and now treats it as a de facto state”, he said.