Taimor Mustafai, member of the KDPI politburo. Photo: Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – As the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) has stepped up its activities in Kurdish lands of northwestern Iran, they are paying tribute to the thousands who sacrificed their lives for their homeland and urging Kurds of Iran to support their cause.
"According to statistics we have gathered, nearly 5,000 Peshmerga were martyred from 1979 to 1996, while almost 23,000 [Iranian revolutionary] guards were killed. In addition, we conducted 17,500 activities," in this period of time, Taimor Mustafai, member of the KDPI politburo, announced in a press conference in the Kurdistan Region capital Erbil on Monday.
The KDPI leader took the opportunity to reiterate a call for supporters of the party across Iranian Kurdistan to mark the 27th anniversary of their leader’s death by public strikes and acts of civil disobedience.
"A few days ago we released an announcement asking eastern Kurdistan [Iranian Kurdistan] people to stage a public strike and to avoid going work. This message was to warn the Islamic Republic of Iran," said Mustafai.
If the people respond to "our call for a public strike, the Iranian regime cannot do anything against us,” he added. He cited examples of previous times when Tehran was helpless in the face of large numbers of people who had taken to the streets.
"When Shwana Saeed Qadr was assassinated in 2005, a public strike was launched for 40 days and the regime did not manage to do anything. Also, on the 20th anniversary of the martyrdom of Dr. Ghassemlou, the regime also failed to do anything against us," he said.
KDPI leader Abdulrahman Ghassemlou was assassinated by Iranian agents in the midst of negotiations with the Tehran government in the Austrian capital Vienna on July 13, 1989.
Mustafai urged people not to be deterred by pressure from Tehran to not participate in strikes and public actions. "The eastern Kurdistan people will never subjugate to the tyranny of the Islamic republic," he declared, encouraging people to support the “mountain struggle.”
The Kurdish group, which resumed actions against the Iranian army last month after nearly two decades of unilateral ceasefire, tries to link the group’s recent armed clashes with the army in the border areas with public strikes under the name of the fighters of mountains and cities.
In a recent statement, the KDPI said that it is time “People in the cities responded to the sacrifice of the mountain fighters with their participation in the struggle for the nation.”
"According to information we have obtained, the Iranian Islamic Republic has deployed soldiers and militants in eastern Kurdistan and nearly 40 civilians have been arrested by the government," Mustafai estimated. "Despite that, we are determined to maintain our struggle. We do not attack the Islamic Republic. If they attack us, we respond."