Academics, intellectuals demand forces in Rojhelat to unite against aggression of the Iranian state

by The Region    


Following the execution of 4 Kurdish political prisoners in Iranian Kurdistan (East Kurdistan/Rojhelat) and Iran’s missile attack on Kurdish opposition groups in Bashur, a group of Rojhelati academics and intellectuals have signed a statement  asking essentially for immediate talks among all political forces in Rojhelat— which include PJAK-KODAR— to enter into talks around a minimalist programme of unity against heightened aggression by the Iranian state.

On September 8, 2018, the armed forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran launched multiple missile attacks on the offices and residential compounds of Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) and Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in Koya, deep inside the federal region of Iraqi Kurdistan in blatant breach of international law. These attacks lead to the significant number of death and injury among these parties’ members and civilians residing in the compound.

On the same day, Iranian regime executed three Kurdish political prisoners, Ramin Hossein Panahi, Loqman Moradi and Zanyar Moradi. The executions took place despite multiple calls by international human rights organisations to halt the executions and address serious procedural flaws in the detention and trial of the three individuals.

The broader background of these atrocities is the deep domestic socio-economic and political crisis within Iran and the concluding stage of the Syrian civil war in which a diverse array of regional and internal powers compete over the spoils of the devastating civil war that has been raging since 2011; a war in which Iran and Turkey and their local allies have played a key role.

Despite all their differences the states of Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria are as always united in rolling back the gains that Kurdish people and their political forces have made over the past few years thanks to their just and persistent struggle and heroic resistance against ISIS. These states have shown time and again that they are willing and able to set aside all their differences to repress the legitimate struggle of the Kurdish nation for the right of self-determination.

Unfortunately, the same unity of purpose and action does not exist among Kurdish political forces in general and among those of Eastern Kurdistan (Rojhelat) in particular. This is doubly concerning given that the Kurdish people in Rojhelat are finding themselves in one of the most critical conjunctures in their history. Their legitimate struggle for political and cultural rights currently face unprecedented historical constraints and opportunities as the Iranian regime is struggling with internal decay and external pressure.

Given these important circumstances we the undersigned:

1. Offer our sincere condolences to KDPI and KDP and all those who have lost their loved ones to the heinous brutality of the Iranian regime. We also offer our sympathies to the families of Ramin Hossein Panahi, Loqman Moradi and Zanyar Moradi.

2. Call on all Kurdish political forces struggling for Kurdish political rights and active in Rojhelat, without distinction, to hold immediate talks to form a minimalist programme of military, security and diplomatic cooperation as the most effective measure to resist against the Iranian regime’s relentless, blind and indiscriminate aggression. Ideally, these negotiations should lead to the formation of a Kurdish national-democratic united front in Rojhelat. We believe this demand for a minimalist unity programme is shared by the overwhelming majority of the Kurdish people in Rojhelat.

3. Implore Rojhelat political forces that in initiating negotiations for this multilateral cooperation they should recognise and respect their political and ideological differences, and come together around the most fundamental common ground, namely, Kurdish national rights and common defence, security and diplomatic policy vis-à-vis the Iranian regime and regional and international powers.

4. Remind all Rojhelati parties that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is not willing or able to guarantee their safety against Iranian regime’s aggression. They should, therefore, work together to minimise their physical presence inside KRG controlled territory.

5. Invite all Kurdish political parties to formally commit to refrain from using a weapon to resolve their political and ideological differences. Such differences, which do exist, must be negotiated peacefully and through democratic means with the Kurdish people as the ultimate arbiter.


  1. Professor Abbas Vali (Emeritus Professor)
  2. Dr. Azad Moradian (Director of Kurdish Committee for Democracy & Human rights, US)
  3. Dr Amir Sharifi (Long Beach University, US)
  4. Dr. Alan Fotuhi (Karolinska University, Sweden)
  5. Dr. Khaid Khayati (Linköping University, Sweden)
  6. Dr. Sorayya Fallah (California State University, US)
  7. Dr. Ahmad Mohammadpour (University of Massachusetts, Amherst, US) 
  8. Dr. Barzoo Eliassi (Linnaeus University, Sweden)
  9. Dr. Kamal Soleimani (Queens College, New York, US)
  10. Dr. Rahim Surkhi (Carlton University, Canada)
  11. Dr. Hashem Ahmadzadeh (Uppsala University, Sweden)
  12. Dr. Kaveh Ghobadi (Researcher)
  13. Dr. Saiwan Saeed (Researcher)
  14. Dr. Behrooz Shojaei (Researcher)
  15. Dr. Ramin Mafakheri (Researcher)
  16. Dr. Nasser Ahmadi (Researcher)
  17. Dr. Kamran Matin (Sussex University, UK)
  18. Shahla Baran (civil society activist)
  19. Agri Ismailnezhad (journalist)
  20. Alan Goran (civil society activist)
  21. Ava Homa (author)
  22. Sardar Sa’adi (researcher)
  23. Hemn Seyyedi) (doctoral researcher)
  24. Behnam Amini (doctoral researcher)
  25. Jani Dilan (journalist)
  26. Shahed Alavi (journalist)
  27. Sassan Amjadi (researcher)