Chiefs of Iranian Kurdish Political Parties Endorse a Federal, Democratic System in Iran

Joint initiative on Iran’s future by the Washington Kurdish Institute (WKI) and Program on Human Rights and Peace-building at Columbia University

May 18, 2021


We, members of the Cooperation Center endorse political transition in Iran to establish a federal, parliamentary democratic system.
Federalism is the most effective system for power-sharing safeguarding equality/non-discrimination and the protection/promotion of the unique identity of groups, establishing the basis for the rule of law.  Power-sharing arrangements should be adapted to the specific requirements of each group, defining their relations to one another and to the State.
Federal States:

  • Band together because their individual interests are enhanced through common action.
  • Have an existence and functions that cannot be unilaterally changed by the central government.
  • Can adopt symmetrical arrangements, allocating the same powers to all sub-national units, or asymmetrical arrangements whereby States differ in their power and status.

Now, therefore, be it resolved that:

The Cooperation Center supports federal power-sharing:

  • Establishing self-governing institutions — a local executive, assembly, and judiciary, as well as police and security structures upholding the administration of justice and reflecting the communities that they serve.
  • Enshrining cultural rights in the form of education, language, media, cultural festivals, and cultural symbols.
  • Promoting economic development through control of natural resources, property and land management, and hiring preferences.

Going Forward: This statement will be submitted to the Congress of Nationalities for a Federal Iran (CNFI). Consultations will be conducted to maximize inclusion of groups that are historically part of regime structures such as Persians, Arabs, Balochis, and Turks. The Cooperation Center and CNFI will present findings and recommendations to international stakeholders concerned about Iran’s democratic progress, working in cooperation with the Washington Kurdish Institute, the Program on Human Rights and Peacebuilding at Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights, and other international partners.
Adopted by:

Mustafa Hijri, Secretary General of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan

Abdullah Mohtadi, Secretary General of the Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan

Khalid Azizi, Secretary General of the Kurdistan Democratic Party Iran

Omar Ilkhanizadeh Secretary General, Komala party of Kurdistan