Mustafa Hijri, leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party-Iran (KDP-I). Photo: Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - The leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party-Iran (KDP-I) says the party has decided to move its Peshmarga forces into the Iranian Kurdistan after two decades of unilateral ceasefire that virtually meant no military operations inside Kurdish territories in western Iran since mid-1990s.
Mustafa Hijri said the KDP-I wanted to continue its “peaceful political struggle” and get closer to its grassroots supporters in Kurdish areas of Iran.
“We want to change the course for our party, but we will continue our struggle in all circumstances, we will combine the mountain struggle with the struggle in the cities,” Hijri told Rudaw referring to the deployment of their Peshmarga forces from mountainous areas in Kurdistan region of Iraq into the urban areas of Iranian Kurdistan.
With some 2000 Peshmarga forces based in remote bordering areas, the KDP-I is historically considered the most formidable military organization opposing the Islamic Republic in Tehran.
The party says it still enjoys considerable influence among Kurds in Iran to create pressure on the government in Tehran, despite the decades old ceasefire that sent the party into exile in Kurdistan region.
“To achieve our objectives, we need to be a powerful party and our power lies with our young people in Iranian Kurdistan,” Hijri said.
“We want to send our Peshmarga forces to get closer to the young people and give them an opportunity to join our party,” he added.
Hijri’s comments coincide with celebrations of the Iranian and Kurdish New Year, Newroz, which starts on March 20 this year.
The Iranian Kurdistan Democratic Party was split into two groups in 2006 but talks have regularly taken place between the two for a unification.
Tehran regards both groups as unlawful and has banned their activity along with several other Kurdish organizations in the country.
“If the world really wants to see a clam Middle East, with no migrations, and with people living freely, then the Islamic Republic (in Iran) should not exist, that will guarantee peaceful coexistence in the Middle East,” Hijri said.