The Democratic Party of the Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) says Iran’s nuclear deal with the West forced the party to break its ceasefire with Tehran, which had lasted two decades, a party official told Rudaw.
“Since Iran has signed the atomic [nuclear deal] agreement, Iran thinks whatever they do, the outside world does not care. That is why we were forced to choose this approach,” Hassan Sharafi, the deputy leader of the PDKI said.
Iran reached a nuclear deal with the P5+1 group of nations, namely the United States, Russia, China, France, and Britain, plus Germany, last year which aims to stop Iran from developing parts of its nuclear program which could be used for militarily purposes, instead offering it economic sanctions relief in return for it curtailing aspects of its program.
The PDKI’s approach was announced by the party in March, on the eve of the Kurdish New Year (Newroz). That eve is called Rasan, a Kurdish word for resurrection.
“We do not call it armed struggle,” Sharafi said, “We call it the presence of Peshmerga alongside the people of Kurdistan who are under the pressure of the Islamic Republic of Iran, they are detained, jailed, and being monitored. Our Peshmerga’s have presence in the areas to protect those people, and support them.”
With some 2,000 Peshmerga forces based in remote bordering areas, mainly in the Kurdistan Region, the PDKI is historically considered the most formidable Kurdish military organization opposing the Iranian regime.
Since March, the PDKI Peshmerga’s have engaged in clashes with the Iranian security forces, and the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in June which led to tens of dead and/or wounded on both sides.
“We did not attack any military position or any state institutions. Our Peshmerga’s were acting in self-defense. It was the Iranians who attacked our Peshmerga’s and our comrades.” Sharafi said.
Last week, Iran’s artillery attacked the Kurdistan Region’s northeastern border
, which led to the displacement of at least 70 Kurdish families. The PDKI first said, on its twitter account, that its bases were the target, alongside civilians and agricultural lands, but in subsequent tweets it made no reference to the PDKI bases.
The party’s secretary general Mustafa Hijri said on Tuesday
that the Kurdish officials from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) this year asked the Iranian Kurdish opposition groups, including his party, “to stop armed attacks inside Iran, to avoid giving the Islamic Republic of Iran excuses to create problems for the Kurdistan Region.”
But, he said, “We rejected their demand. We said ‘we will carry on with our programs. We can no longer confine ourselves to a very limited number of political activities, which unfortunately have achieved no results’ ”
Sharafi said the KRG cannot put pressure on his party because the public opinion in the Greater Kurdistan, namely Iraqi, Iranian, Turkish and Syrian Kurdistan does not accept it.