Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Mahabad. Photo: IRNA
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region –During an official visit to the Kurdish city of Mahabad on Tuesday, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani praised the situation of Kurds in his country and promised more language and cultural rights.
"The security and situation of Kurds in Iran is much better than that of Kurds in our neighboring countries, like Turkey, Syria and Iraq,” Rouhani said to his Kurdish crowd. “A security has been provided to the Iranian Kurds that cannot be compared to the situation of Kurds in our neighboring countries.”
The Iranian president who won many votes in the Kurdish areas of Iran promised that his office will work with the ministry of education to incorporate the Kurds’ language rights into Iran’s constitution in Article 15.
Rouhani told the people of Mahabad—a city that witnessed violent anti-government protests last year over the death of a female hotel worker—that employment opportunities should be provided for all “without any ethnic considerations,”
He also said that nobody could create rifts between Iran’s diverse ethnic groups.
"As the president, and head of the National Security Council, I am saying frankly, in the Islamic Iran, nobody can create differences between Muslim sects,” he said.
Activists have long accused Iranian authorities of discrimination against Kurdish-populated areas in terms of public services while political parties report that the area has been heavily militarized with daily security crackdowns.
Critics say that no Kurd has ever been elected governor in Urumiyeh despite its estimated 1.9 million Kurdish population.