Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan

Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan
Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan
Hîzbî Dêmokiratî Kurdistanî Êran
حیزبی دێمۆکراتی کوردستانی ئێران
Founded August 16, 1945
Headquarters Mukriyan
Ideology Kurdish nationalism, social democracy, democratic socialism
International affiliation Socialist International

The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (Kurdish: Partî Dêmokiratî Kurdistanî Êran), abbreviated as PDKI, KDPI, PDK-I, is a Kurdish political party in Iranian Kurdistan which seeks the attainment of Kurdish national rights within a democratic federal republic of Iran.


Historical background

The "Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan" (PDKI) was founded in Mahabad, Kurdistan, on August 16, 1945. The PDKI replaced the Komeley Jiyanewey Kurd (Council of Kurdish Resurrection) which had been formed three years earlier. On January 22, 1946, the Party availed itself of expedient circumstances in a section of Iranian Kurdistan and established the Republic of Kurdistan, usually referred to by historians as the Republic of Mahabad, because of its choice of Mahabad as the capital.

The Republic of Mahabad lasted no more than 11 months. Following a pact signed by the Iranian central government and the Soviet Union (which supported the PDK-I and the secession of the Kurdistan province from Iran), the Iranian army launched a vast offensive into the region, destroying the Republic by December 17, 1946. The Republic having collapsed, a great number of PDK-I leaders were imprisoned, of whom 20 people including Qazi Muhammad (Ghazi Mohammad or Qazî Mihemmed), head of the Party and president of the Republic, M. Hossein Seyfi-Ghazi, minister of Defence, and Abulghassem Sadri-Ghazi, a member of the Iranian Parliament from Mahabad, were hanged in the capital of the Republic, and the others executed in Saqez and Bukan.

Less than two years after the collapse of the Republic, the PDK-I started its political and organizational activities anew, taking root in some parts of Iranian Kurdistan.

Following the collapse of Dr. Mossadegh's government in 1953, when democratic rights and freedoms of the people throughout Iran were suppressed, the PDK-I's activities came almost to a standstill. A great number of Party activists were either imprisoned or briefly forced underground.

Two widespread police raids against the Party in 1959 and 1964 dealt heavy blows to its organization: some 300 Party activists were imprisoned, with an even greater number having to go into hiding or flee Iran. However, the basis of the movement survived, since it revived and reformed its organization. Its activities picked up such momentum that in 1967, a large number of its members and high-ranking cadres started an armed insurrection – lasting 18 months – against the Shah's regime. The insurrection failed, due to the lack of a safe rear zone.

The Kurds in Iranian Kurdistan and the PDKI played an active part in the Iranian people's uprising against the Shah's dictatorship. A group of PDK-I leaders, who were living in exile either in neighbouring countries or in Europe, returned to Iran before the collapse of the monarchy, actively participating in the uprising of the Kurdish people and assuming the status of leadership in the movement.

Upon the success of the Iranian people's uprising, the PDK-I declared its public agenda in a meeting held in Mahabad, which was attended by representatives from all parts of Iranian Kurdistan. Despite the Party's sincere endeavours to settle its differences over the democratic rights and freedoms of the Kurdish people peacefully with the newly established regime in Tehran, the rulers in Tehran refused to compromise.

On 13 July 1989, Dr. Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou, Secretary-general of the PDK-I, and two of his colleagues, were assassinated in Vienna, Austria as they were negotiating with envoys of the Iranian regime, at the latter's invitation, for a peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue in Iran. Dr. Ghassemlou's successor, Dr. Sadeq Sharafkandi, was also assassinated on 17 September 1992 in Berlin, where he had attended the Congress of the Socialist International.[1]

Mykonos Restaurant Assassinations

Dr. Sadeq Sharafkandi's killing became an international incident between Germany & Iran. On September 17, 1992, Iranian-Kurdish insurgent leaders Sadegh Sharafkandi, Fattah Abdoli, Homayoun Ardalan and their translator Nouri Dehkordi were assassinated at the Mykonos Greek restaurant in Berlin, Germany. In the Mykonos trial, the courts found Kazem Darabi, an Iranian national who worked as a grocer in Berlin, and Lebanese Abbas Rhayel, guilty of murder and sentenced them to life in prison. Two other Lebanese, Youssef Amin and Mohamed Atris, were convicted of being accessories to murder. In its 10 April 1997 ruling, the court issued an international arrest warrant for Iranian intelligence minister Hojjat al-Islam Ali Fallahian[2] after declaring that the assassination had been ordered by him with knowledge of supreme leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and president Ayatollah Rafsanjani[3]

PDK-I Congresses

The PDK-I has held fourteen congresses. These occurred in 1945, 1964, 1971, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1988, 1992, 1995, 1997, 2000, 2004 and September 2008.

During the 20th Congress of the Socialist International, held in the UN headquarters in New York (9–11 September 1996), the PDK-I was given the status of observer member. In 2005, the PDK-I's membership was elevated to consultative status.

The highest body of the PDK-I is its Central Committee, which is usually composed of 21 permanent and 10 substitute members. The Central Committee also elects about 7 of its members as the Political Bureau, which also includes the Secretary-General.

Secretary Generals

Main Principles

  • The PDKI rejects all acts of terrorism.
  • The PDKI's long-term objective is to establish a socialist democratic society.
  • The PDKI supports the fight of peoples of the world for their freedom and against oppressive and reactionary regimes. It supports peace and friendship between the peoples of all countries.
  • The PDKI supports the national struggle of Kurds in other parts of Kurdistan.

The PDKI Fights For

  • A democratic, independent and federal Iran
  • The right of the peoples of Iran to self-determination
  • The realization of workers' social and economic demands
  • The equality of men and women in society and within the family
  • The separation of religion and State


External links

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