Mustafa Hijri, leader of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI), visited Germany at the end of May and met with German officials. Mr. Hijri is currently in the United States and has held meetings with members of U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, U.S. senators and human rights organizations and institutions committed to democracy promotion.
Mr. Hijri’s visit to Europe and the United States coincides with the deployment of PDKI’s Peshmerga forces to the border area between Eastern (Iranian) and Southern (Iraqi) Kurdistan.
PDKI’s deployment of its forces to the border area also comes in the wake of a popular uprising in the Kurdish city of Mahabad at the beginning of May. The uprising, which spread to other Kurdish cities, was brutally suppressed by Iranian military and paramilitary forces.
In the meetings with members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives Hijri stressed that Iran is the main threat to security and stability in the Middle East. Hijri also warned that a nuclear deal with Iran, in the form announced in Lausanne, will strengthen the theocratic regime in Tehran and allow the regime to pursue its destructive regional policies more aggressively.
Hijri also expressed his hope that the United States will not abandon the Kurdish nation in the face of Iranian oppression. “The Kurdish nation is struggling against the Islamic Republic of Iran, do not abandon the Kurdish nation, we need your [U.S.] support”, Hijri stressed.
In an interview with Deutsche Welle, Mr. Hijri said that in his meetings with European and U.S. officials, he has addressed the nuclear deal with Iran and its implications for eastern (Iranian) Kurdistan as well as the future of Iran.
In an extensive interview with the German weekly Jungle Word, Mr. Hijri explained that Iran is conducting diplomacy for tactical reasons.
The Islamic Republic is feeling the impact of crippling sanctions at home and is overstretched due to its massive covert and overt military presence in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Syria and, recently, Yemen.
Iran’s financial, logistical and military support for its terrorist proxies in the Middle East, including the brutal regime of al-Assad in Syria, have reached staggering levels according to intelligence sources.
To ease pressure on itself, the Islamic Republic is likely to make temporary concessions in the negotiations to have the sanctions lifted, Mr. Hijri said.
The PDKI leader warned that lifting sanctions will result in increased oppression at home and provide the Islamic Republic of Iran with financial resources to expand further in the Middle East.
Hijri also expressed his worries that in their quest to reach a nuclear deal with the Islamic regime in Tehran, the Western powers will turn a blind eye to human rights violations in Iran. This, the PDKI leader warned, will have adverse effects on the democratic movement in Iran.
In the interview with Jungle Word, Mr. Hijri questioned some Western governments’ expectation of change in Iran following the election of Hassan Rouhani as Iran’s president.
“There is no difference between Rouhani’s views and those of other officials in the Islamic Republic of Iran vis-à-vis the Kurdish nation,” Hijri said. “Besides, elections in Iran are neither free, nor fair,” he added.
“Institutions like the presidency and the parliament have no real power; power is concentrated in the hands of the supreme leader and he is the one who makes policy pertaining to strategic issues, whether domestically or in the foreign policy realm,” Hijri further explained.
Mr. Hijri has called on Western governments to support democratic forces in Iran to bring about regime change.
Iran’s support for terrorism, destabilization of the Middle East, quest for nuclear weapons and opposition to Western culture and ideas will persist. Only democracy can result in a change in Iran’s domestic and foreign policies, Mr. Hijri averred.