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Rudaw

Iran

Iranian president visits Iranian Kurdistan

By RÛDAW 26/7/2015
 Hassan Rouhani waves to the crowd while giving a speech during a visit to Isfahan. Photo: AFP
Hassan Rouhani waves to the crowd while giving a speech during a visit to Isfahan. Photo: AFP

SINA, Iran — Iranian President Hassan Rouhani arrived Sunday in Sanandaj, the capital city of Iranian Kurdistan, and marked his first visit to Kurdistan province after two years serving in office.

According to Iranian state news media, Rouhani was accompanied by a government delegation for a day-long visit in Kurdistan.   

“Choosing Kurdistan province as the first place to visit right after the nuclear deal with the West shows the importance of Kurdistan and its people during the Islamic Revolution and their role in protecting Iran,” Rouhani told the press upon his arrival at Sina airport.

Rouhani later in a public speech at a football stadium in Sina said Iran had strong ethnic equality. He said the Iranian government views Kurds, Arabs, Baluchis and Persians equally, irrespective of their religious orientations.

“Sunni and Shiite are all brothers, we are all equal,” he said. “Kurdistan is the eye of Iran.”

He also said Iran works to eradicate terrorism from the region. He added that Iran not only cares about Kurds within its borders but also other Kurds in the region.

“Iran protects Erbil and Baghdad the same as it protects Iranian Kurdistan,” he said. “Without Iran’s help Erbil and Baghdad would be in the hands of terrorist groups right now. The way we protect Sanandaj we also protect Sulaimani and Duhok.”

Rouhani additionally made a series of promises to improve Kurdistan province’s undeveloped infrastructure. According to Rouhani, 11 dams will be built within the next two years. He also vowed to take necessary measures to build new roads in Kurdistan.

“This visit could be evaluated as the Iranian regime offering new efforts to improve the conditions of minorities in Iran,” Farhad Aminpour, a Kurdish political activist from Sina, told Rudaw.

However, Aminpour said he was doubtful the visit would lead to any shift in Iranian regime policies toward ethnic minorities like the Kurds.

“Unfortunately the political demands of the Kurds have been abandoned by the government,” he said. “The legitimacy of the Iranian government after the nuclear deal is increased, and that frees the Iranian authorities’ hands of having to take care of minorities issues.”

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Kurdish Freedom | 26/7/2015
No kurd will be fooled by the satan. You have occupied Eastern Kurdistan. Many kurdish activists have been executed under your presidency and now you are talking about protecting Kurds? If a Persian gives you honey, there is poison in it for sure/Qazi Muhammad
Persian | 26/7/2015
Qazi Muhammed, in first comment, I am a Persian Iranian, I live and work with Kurdish colleges and friends from Kermanshah and other regions of Kurdistan in Tehran, some of them having senior positions, I never thought they are Kurds and I am Persian, or Sunni or Shiite, I know they are my citizens and country men and women. Convoluted thoughts like yours rarely find ears to listen in Iran, go find your audience in Turkey or Iraq, racist idiot!
Against chauvinism and lies | 26/7/2015
Kurdistan freedom, I don't know if Qazi would say the same if he heard that 4/5 Persian youth were killed by ISIS while fighting to protect Kobani. Sad that today's Kurdish politics still is not ridden from dark ottoman, soviet influences (marxist PKK and soviet supported Qazi Muhammad being undeniable part of it). It's also partly because Barzani was in Soviet Union for a while. Soviet union tried to create a Kurdish identity which would have no connection to its past, the greater Iranic identity. They wanted to form a Kurdish Identity outside of it's natural environment. Of course this was part of the greater cold and soft war between capitalism and communism, between US and Soviet Union. Since Iran was in the capitalist camp with Shah, Soviet Union had to make troubles by attacking everything that was associated with Iran, including the Kurdish identity and Iranic history and culture. Now Soviet Union is gone, but we still see its influences in form of a Kurdish ideology that somehow doesn't want to be associated with the greater Iranic identity while at the same time grabs parts of the Iranic identity to use it for their sub-nationalism to set them self apart!! schizophrenic indeed, when using kava asinger mythology of Iranic nations which was saved by the Persian poet Ferdowsi 1000 year ago, wonder if Kurds even know who Ferdowsi is? It seems the education system in KRG is a mess and an artificial identity is imposed upon Kurds by some old revisionist men from the times of Lenin, Stalin etc. I hope that Iranologist giants such as Richard N. Frye, Mary Boyce, Roger Savory from great institutions such as Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford and Columbia and others, start to ad the knowledge about Kurdish culture and history to the books that the Kurdish youth reads in KRG, if the authorities allow them to do so and don't impose their own revisionist identity upon Kurds. Kurdish youth and nation has the right to know who they are, not from some politicians with their own agenda, but from a professional point of view.
Talbot O'Meara | 26/7/2015
I live in a 'nation' of 5 million people This nation was founded just after the WW1and won its independence from the greatest empire the world has ever known Great Britain. Its is called Ireland Kurdistan has a population of 30 million and it too will be a nation one day soon, Iran, (not a nation, Iraq not a nation , Syria not a nation and Turkey would best get used to the reality of Kurdistan They should also realise that the West eg Britain , USA, France and Russia will soon support it
FAUthman | 27/7/2015
Kurds in Iraq have to keep all their three avenues open for export, trade and sources of revenue and for their own security and not alienate one for the other. Iran is going to boom, Turkey has finally turned around against ISIS, Kurds are gaining in Rojava, the world loves them so does the US. Kurds have a solid place in Iraq with US protection. Do not let a momentary problem of the PKK dishearten you. President Barzani`s leadership and wisdom are vital and very much needed in these momentous times. Remember with wisdom KRG can generate $3.47 billion a month from the export of oil and gas by the year 2020.
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