Mustafa Hijri, leader of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI), speaks to Rudaw in Washington. Photo: Rudaw
WASHINGTON – Iranian Kurdish leaders are in the American capital to push for new sanctions on Iran and attract support for their struggle against the Islamic Republic.
Mustafa Hijri, leader of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI), and Abdullah Mohtadi, leader of Komala, held a full day of closed-door meetings at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) “concerning the issue of Rojhelat,” Hijri told Rudaw’s Rebaz Ali on Tuesday.
Rojhelat is Iranian Kurdistan.
Hijri was not able to reveal who was in the meetings, but the think-tank that specializes in US foreign policy and international affairs commonly attracts analysts, regional specialists, and State Department officials.
The Kurdish leaders presented evidence that Tehran has not used funds freed up when sanctions were lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal for the people, but “it has spent it mostly on strengthening the terrorist groups and terrorist states of the region,” said Hijri.
Therefore, sanctions have to be “re-imposed on the Islamic Republic of Iran’s regime,” he argued.
Hijri said this is the first such meeting about Rojhelat, a region he said is “usually neglected.”
In a speech to CFR published by PDKI, Hijri explained how decades of “policies of deliberated geographical fragmentation,” by both the Islamic regime and the reign of the Shah, has prevented social and economic development.
He pointed to high unemployment and poverty – factors he said lead to high suicide rates and rising numbers of divorces.
Hijri argued that Tehran’s domestic and regional activities are interlinked, tied together by the “ideology of Islamist rule.”
His party’s position is that “the only way to bring an end to dictatorship in Iran as well as an end to Iran’s destructive behavior in the Middle East, is through regime change.”
To that end, PDKI supports US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal and called on the US and the world to support protest movements and civil society actors in Iran.
After months of speculation, Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal in May. He has repeatedly slammed the agreement is the “worst deal ever.”
European and Iranian officials are scrambling to salvage the deal.