Dialogue of the day - Rahim Rashidi, Kurd journalist:

”Iran is warmongering outside to resolve domestic issues”

3 Aug 2011

3rd August 2011

Ardavan Rouzbeh / Radio Koocheh

Translated by Avideh Motmaen-Far

On July 11th , a high-ranking commander of the Islamic armed forces, “Masoud Barezani”, accused the head of the Iraqi Kurdistan of getting away 300 thousand hectares of land to the ”Pejak ” group without the knowledge of Iraqi central government and warned that Iran’s attacks for the destruction of this group will continue.

Soon after the news were released, the party of Free Kurdistan, Pejak, that has often had armed struggle against the Islamic Republic, on Sunday, July 26, announced that following the exchange of fire with the guards of the border region between Iran and Iraq, left two of the forces of this party killed and four  wounded.

At the same time, reports of shootings in some regions of Iraqi Kurdistan were published by Iran.

On the other hand, fact-finding committee members of the reinforcement parliament of Iraqi Kurdistan said to be shot on by the Revolutionary Guards and the Army of the Islamic Republic, had been preparing a report and visit for the Iraq parliament and government.

Also, according to Iran’s domestic media, “Brigadier Asemi”, one of the Revolutionary Guards of the commanding base “Ali Ebne Abi Talib” in Qom, who was on a mission in the region of Sardasht, along with five other members of his unit, were killed in clashes with the armed group Pejak.

The Revolutionary Guards, since Saturday 23 of July, have started a large invasion to the bases of the group Pejak, Pejak-Turkey on Iraqi Kurdistan soil and Pejak confirmed that three members of its forces have lost their lives in the clashes.

During the past days, the international committee “Red Cross” announced that in the conflict between the Revolutionary Guards and members of the group Pejak, on the border between Iran and Iraq, hundreds of people from Iraqi Kurdish villages are homeless.

According to some reports, clashes drew up to the moment this report was being written.

In this regard, Ardavan Rouzbeh from Radio Koocheh had a dialogue with the Kurd Journalist “Rahim Rashidi”, reporter and member of the International Federation of Journalists:

It has been a few days that news of severe clashes in the region in Kurdistan and regions of Kurdistan in northern Iraq and reports of the parliament in the region have been heard. What is your analysis of the Revolutionary Guards and Iranian Army clashes with armed forces said to be Pajak?

The region, is very special and particular and it is from this angle and I want to answer your question. The Islamic Republic is faced with problems in three dimensions very seriously. In the international community, sanctions from the United Nations has negative effects on the policy-making process and economic development of the regime and the regime is in the margin of the international politics. And from the regional policies point of view, especially what is supposed to be the Arab community, it is not pleasant for the Islamic Republic of Iran. Although the Islamic Republic first tried to consider it as Islamic awakening. On the other hand, there are issues inside Iran because the biggest opposition to the Islamic Republic is in the country and it is also an overwhelming majority of the people of Iran who   disapprove and hate the Islamic Republic.

The Islamic Republic, to achieve its strategic interests, has always tried and still tries to relate its domestic issues to foreigners and this is not just specific to the Islamic Republic, all the dictator countries try to do the same and in this framework, the Islamic Republic, occasionally aggresses the Iraqi Kurdistan and today, aggresses Pejak that is an Iranian branch of Kurdistan Workers Party

The Islamic Republic, to achieve its strategic interests, has always tried and still tries to relate its domestic issues to foreigners and this is not just specific to the Islamic Republic, all the dictator countries try to do the same and in this framework, the Islamic Republic, occasionally aggresses the Iraqi Kurdistan and today, aggresses Pejak that is an Iranian branch of Kurdistan Workers Party. As Pejak is not an independent party,  it is depending on the Kurdistan Workers Party of Turkey, and is supported almost totally by this Party. In this framework KWP has relations with the Islamic Republic and is provided a part of the procurement by Iran. When you put these all together, you find out that attacking Pejak, is only an excuse to attack Iraqi Kurdistan.

Why do they attack Iraqi Kurdistan? Iraq’s internal issues are important in this regard. We know that in December 2011, American forces must withdraw from Iraq but Iraqi Kurds insist on America’s army stay in Iraq. Iran increases its pressure for saber-rattling and Syria, strategic ally of the Islamic Republic of Iran, is falling apart. In my opinion, the Revolutionary Guards, adventurously wants to deviate the world attentions to the Iraqi Kurdistan so the world remains unaware of what is going on in Syria.

If it is said that Pejak is a branch of the Kurdistan Workers Party and on the other Pejak issue has been mentioned to be not a serious problem, so why are they being confronted in such a serious manner? Based on what witnesses said on Wednesday, July the 20th,  almost 150 thousand families in the region “cruse fortress” in Iran’s border are homeless and a number of senior Iranian Guards officers were killed in the clashes. Do you think that Pejak might have strong support forces behind them?

According to an editorial of Keyhan Newspaper, Pejak is not a serious party is not serious and not influential in Iranian Kurdistan and has not even been able to attract forces in the villages around the border. To me, it does not matter how accurate is what is written in this editorial but when they claim that this organization and the forces have no such influence, why they concentrate all their forces,  warmonger and invade the Iraqi Kurdistan? So as I mentioned, bigger issues are hidden behind this. The Islamic Republic is not happy of the expansion of relations of Iraqi Kurds with Turkey either.

Because in Turkey, for several past years, they are trying to resolve the Kurds issue by taking serious logical measures by spreading a democratic policy. These measures are still not sufficient, but very different compared to the Islamic Republic of Iran who has a denying policy and relates every protest movement to some kind of connection to the foreigners.

Another objective of the Islamic Republic of Iran is to create an insecure place in Iraqi Kurdistan because this region is the only place where the American soldiers blood are not shed and is a good and safe place for investment in Iraq.

It is said that Pejak has no power and despite of that resists against the Revolutionary Guards and kill their commanders. I repeat my question, does Pejak benefit from some kind of support?

Turkish Kurdistan Workers Party, is a very powerful force and the majority of the people of Turkey  support it and even the civil movement or parliamentary movement inside Turkey and its Kurds, recognize Mr. Ojalan as their national leader and there is no doubt that the party has vast facilities. It is natural that they help Pejak or other groups of other parts of the Kurdistan including Iraqi Kurdistan and Syrian Kurdistan as well. The accusations that Pejak is affiliated to Israel or America is common.   Apart from what the Islamic Republic of Iran says, the big picture that I mentioned is about larger programs hidden behind all these. The Islamic Republic of Iran wants the region and especially the Kurdistan to be unsafe. If you have paid attention, leaders of the regime in recent years constantly travel to Kurdistan without having any economic development program to implement in Kurdistan.

They want to make believe to the outside world and the countries that are defender of Kurds and or call for democratic solutions of the issues in the region, that in Kurdistan nothing is happening. But we all know that Kurdistan, since the Islamic Republic of Iran exist, has always been a centre of struggle against dictatorship and still is.

Mr. Nachirvan Barezani and the Iranian government has apparently a good relationship. How do you consider his reaction to events which are currently happening in the region of Ghandil?

Since the first day of existence of the government of Kurdistan, Mr. Barezani as elected President of the Kurdistan stated that violence is not going to resolve any problem and issues should be solved in Damascus, Ankara and Tehran. Parliamentary delegation of Federal Iraq with a team of local parliament of Iraqi Kurdistan visited all regions that have been violated. Unfortunately, I have to say that central government has not adopted a very serious position.

Pejak has no intention to separate from Iran

They think that these problems put some burden on Kurdistan’s government and they can benefit from it in political games. Because, if we investigate the news and events of recent days and weeks, we reach the conclusion that today, we Kurds in all parts of the Kurdistan, enjoy a general awareness, and I do not believe that in the current situation they are going to open fire against each other and go into a civil war and fratricide.

My last question is with regard to the existing conditions and that you mentioned that clashes between Pejak military forces and Iranians would result in Pejak being supported by other Kurds? This is exactly the opposite point of Mr. Mostapha Hajari who believes that he will never see Kurdistan apart from Iran while Pejak claims independence.

I confirm that Pejak has no intention to separate from Iran. Even if they have not trying for this regime to change and they want reform in Iran, the Islamic Republic’s warmongering attitudes and policies to continue the war which has caused all democratic ways to fail and the only way to be the fight.  S they fight for their own safety. The Islamic Republic of Iran has closed the way for all political groups, not only Pejak. Now that Pejak is affiliated to whom and what is another debate. But it seems that The Revolutionary Guards want to strengthen their position in the internal events in Iran. As I see that the Army of the Islamic Republic like any other armies in the world should be involved in these events abd it is not the case, the army has no presence. So, all these issues depend on people’s domestic combat process in connection with protests against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The Iranian Kurdistan, Kurds in the region and Kurdish parties evaluate the Islamic Republic of Iran’s policies on war and development of violence and if the Islamic Republic stands forward to attack the Iraqi Kurdistan Government, we are ready to stand strongly against them.

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