Iran nuclear deal would embolden internal oppression, regional aggression, says Iraqi Kurdish leader
Iran’s strategy targets the minorities constituting 50% of the population
The leader of Iran’s Kurdistan Democratic Party is warning the world that a nuclear deal with Iran would embolden the Islamic Republic of Iran to escalate both its domestic oppression and its aggression throughout the Middle East and beyond.
Mustafa Hijri, the KDP leader, has been targeted by numerous assassination attempts for his opposition to Tehran’s Islamist regime.
In late September, Iranian drones and missiles destroyed a significant part of the KDP headquarters in Koya, Iraq’s Kurdish region, killing at least nine people and wounding 32.
The current unrest in Iran started over a month ago when Iranian Kurdish 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died at the hands of the regime’s notorious “morality” police, after being beaten at a “re-education” center.
The Iranian regime regularly blames domestic unrest on “foreign interference,” a veiled reference to the U.S. and Israel, but also to Kurds and other regional minorities; Hijri said Iran wants to provoke the Kurds to bring external troops into Iran, validating the claim.
“The Iranian regime likes the idea of us sending the Peshmerga, as it gives more justification to the regime to intensify its repression and oppression of the people, and to tell the world that they have returned and fought us. But we have not done this because this does not benefit people,” Hijri said.
Hijri said Iran is practicing a strategy “either inside Iran or outside Iran, to pit the nations against each other.”
“They think if neighboring states and regional states, and people inside them, are united, their government will be deposed,” Hijri told Arab News.
About half of Iran’s population comprises ethnic and religious minorities that include the Kurds, Turkmens, Azeris, Baluchs, Arabs and Lurs, while Persians constitute the other 50%.
Tehran is believed to fear that the large number of minorities could seek independence from the nation, and Hijri blasted Tehran for systematically oppressing its minorities.
“You know that the nations [inside Iran], except for the ethnic Persians, including Baloch and Azeri and Turks, in reality, are all marginalized in this centralized system,” he told Arab News. “The languages of these nations are prohibited in schools.”
“A budget is not allocated to their regions and areas,” he said. “There is a lot of administrative discrimination against them. The Iranian regime looks at them as the enemy. The Iranian regime thinks of them as if they want to divide the country. So the Iranian regime has impoverished them.”
According to Hijri, Iran also invests in creating divisions far beyond its borders: “Look at Iraq, in which Iran has an influential role, it has created division within the Shiite house.”
“Now the Shiite parties have disagreements,” Hijri said. “They held an election one year ago but (only) formed their government [on Oct. 27].”
Furthermore, he said, “In Lebanon, [Iran] has created a division between Shiite and Sunni. Everywhere it is working on these divisions.”
A report by The Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a nonpartisan non-profit, forecasts that Iran will have access to $1 trillion by 2030 if the Iran nuclear deal were to be resurrected by the world powers. The influx of financial benefits could bring in $275 billion in the first year, strengthening Iran in the pursuit of its goals.