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Rudaw

Iran

Kurds in Iran ‘overwhelmed with happiness’ after Kurdistan Region vote

By Rudaw 27/9/2017
People in the Kurdish city of Baneh, Iran, celebrate the Kurdistan Region’s independence referendum. Photo: Rojhelat TV
People in the Kurdish city of Baneh, Iran, celebrate the Kurdistan Region’s independence referendum. Photo: Rojhelat TV
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Kurds in Iran jubilantly celebrated as Kurds in Iraq held their historic referendum on independence despite the Iranian government deploying armored vehicles and jets into the Kurdish provinces.

A number of civil activists in eastern Kurdistan organized the ‘Celebration of the Flag’ activity as Kurds in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region finished casting their independence ballots on Monday night.

The event received minimal media coverage, but managed to rock the cities of eastern Kurdistan, called Rojhalat in Kurdish. Social media outlets were overwhelmed with photos and videos showing ecstatic people.

Thousands of people in Bana, Sanandaj, Saqqez, Mariwan, Mahabad, Bokan, Sardasht, Shno, Piranshar, Kamyaran, Rwansar and Ciwanro were chanting “congratulations.”

Celebrations in Mahabad proceeded with the raising of Kurdistan’s flag and the chanting of the motto “Leader, your flag was raised.” People also sang Kurdistan national anthem ‘Ey Reqib.’

Raising the flag of Kurdistan is forbidden in Iran, as is singing the anthem, which was used by the short-lived Kurdish state of Mahabad in the mid-20th century.

“Anti-revolution forces were deployed in the city. Fighter jets were constantly hovering in the skies of Piranshar. The sound of artillery shells in border areas disturbed peoples’ peace of mind,” Mohammed R, a citizen from there said.

Posts on social media showed Iranian forces deployed in most of the cities; however, the presence of border and other forces is often seen as some armed Kurdish political parties are present in the region. Iran regularly responds by shelling their bases.

“Bokan is overwhelmed with happiness. People themselves are holding parties. What you see people expressing their happiness. It is the first time we express our feelings without fear,” Hazhar H, a citizen from Bokan told Rudaw.

One of the biggest parties was held in the city of Sanandaj. Unofficial figures suggest that nearly 20,000 people in Sanandaj took part in the party. The motto “The south is not alone, Sanandaj supports you” was chanted in the city’s Freedom Square. The partygoers celebrated until far into the night.

The Kurdistan Region’s referendum was held to ask people from the Kurdistan Region disputed areas, claimed by both Erbil and Baghdad, whether they want the Kurdistan Region and the Kurdistani areas outside the administration of the Region to become an independent state.

The historic vote sparked has kindled the Kurdish spirit, whose people are divided across the borders of Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria, as well as in diaspora.

Comments

 
Louise | 27/9/2017
I hope the Kurds of Iraq remember the support given to the referendum - especially given the risks they endured with their protest.
Shkak | 27/9/2017
Iraq has sent its troops to a foreign country (Turkey ) joining drills to jointly invade a territory still officialy considered Iraqi and whose protection from foreign countries is an obligation of the iraqi government. South Kurdistan is not alone ,Western Kurds have already made it clear that they will come to defend the independent Kurdish State.
Hate IranMan | 28/9/2017
After reading this article, I thought of an Iranian troll who calls himself "IranMan" and always claims that the Kurds in Eastern Kurdistan are true Iranians and do not want to have an independent country of their own and other garbage. Where is he now, and what does he has to say about these events that has taken place in that part of Kurdistan after this referendum?
Hiwa Sardashti | 28/9/2017
@hate All Kurds are Iranic and pride of it. They have the right to be happy that Kurds divide from arabs. That does not mean that Iranian Kurds hate Iran as a country.
Seyed | 28/9/2017
Biji kurd bjii kurdistan bji serok barzani I'm ready to defend kurdistan
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