Background: The flight of political Iranian and Kurds opposition into Iraq and Turkey from Iran included a number of parties and fractions and many immigrants. This study sought to characterize and use the literature necessary to provide a relevant background of Iranian government’s politics, policies about opposition both Kurds and Iranian left etc. In this regard I have tried to apply some texts that addresses the relationship between the people who fled the suppression and mass killings in Iran and those who stayed.
Methods: I have applied a descriptive and library method to provide initially a background of Iranian policy in beginning monarchy system in Iran by Reza Khan and then second period of monarchy governance by his son Mohamad Reza Shah and finally have addressed to present Iranian regime and its conflicts with Iranian left and Kurdish opposition.
Results: In all these periods, Iranian policy has attempted to suffocate any left party and idea of communism, socialism and Kurdish parties which named Kurdistan Democratic Party and Kurdistan Komala Party alongside Iranian communist Party and Tudeh party and Organization of Iranian People’s Fedaei Guerrillas، OIPFG) and Organization of Revolutionary Workers of Iran, O.R.W.I) etc. In the first period of monarchy, Reza Khan imprisoned 50 intellectuals included the most famous political and literary faces for example, Bozorg-Alavi, Taqi-Arani etc. Also, the most famous Iranian left poet Ahmad- Shamloo was imprisoned for a while. At the same time, Reza Khan makes a big attack against Kurds in western of Iran and suppressed Kurdish nationalistic movement which led by Simko for many years. His successor by name Mohamamd Reza Shah also, continued his father’s policy and When the Russians evacuated Iranian Kurdistan, in exchange for northern oil concession, it was easy for Mohammad Reza Shah to disband the first Kurdish republic which was established by president Qazi-Mohammad and two of his colleagues to name Seif and Sadr-Qazi were hanged by Reza Khan.
Conclusion: The study concluded that Iranian policy had various negative effects over left movement and Kurdish parties in nearly a century in Iran. On the other hand, Iranian dictatorship hasn’t allowed to left parties and Kurds to get its basic rights and in due of Iranian government, many of people and parties has fled to Iraqi Kurdistan and Europea among them Sweden etc.
Keywords: Kurds, Communists, Kurdish Opposition, immigrants, Exile __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Iran’s political system: Ayatollah Khamenei, the leader of the Islamic Republic is the highest and most powerful political official in Iran. In the previous regimes, the political power of the country was in the hands of Mohammad Reza Khan Pahlavi (the first Pahlavi) who, like the leaders of the Islamic Republic, considered himself the shadow of god on earth. The Pahlavi government in a program called “Great Iranian Civilization” sought the elimination and assimilation of the nations and tribes in due to make up Iran and the conversion of the nation’s living in Iran to Persian, which aimed to create a single nation with one language and under the rule of the Shah.(1)
The political and economic corruption of the imperial government led to a revolution and the overthrow of the imperial system. The Revolution of 1979 united all political and national groups of Iran to subvert the Pahlavi dictatorship and replace it with a democratic system around the slogan of overthrowing this regime. The revolution of the Iranian people was confiscated by Khomeini and his adherents, and under the leadership and religious charismatic role of “Ayatollah Khomeini”, all its democratic and republican aspirations of this revolution were looted by religious reactionary. The constitution, drafted and approved by Khomeini, promised the creation of a People’s Assembly and the election of the President through direct elections, but in return for the establishment of the Guardian Council and the regulation of the candidacy of parliamentary and presidential candidates, the right to vote it was practically taken from the people. Also elected on this occasion must be followers of the official religion of the country, namely the Twelver Shiite jurists and believers in the principle of “Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist” (Article 13 of the Iranian Islamic Constitution).(2) The complex political system of the Islamic Republic has religious elements that are very different and in contrast with the minimum democratic values. A network of appointed men who have taken top-level decisions under the leadership of Ayatollah “Khamenei”, and all decisions and approvals of the government and parliament must be filtered through these factors.
Despite intra-government rivalries and the existence of a reformist majority in the Islamic Consultative Assembly in 1997 and 1999, due to its adherence to the orders of Velayat-e-Faqih “Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist”), the Islamic Consultative Assembly was unable to make significant reforms to pass laws on freedom of expression, freedom of political and trade union organization, and the definition of a political prisoner. After the presidential election in 2005 and Ahmadinejad’s rise to power, both the Islamic Consultative Assembly and the executive branch of the regime were effectively controlled by the regime’s conservative faction. Thus, in addition to creating obstacles to reform the laws of fundamental freedoms, he was reluctant to do so. According to the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, all civil, criminal, financial, economic, administrative, cultural, military, political law and regulations must be based on Islamic standards.
In these abovementioned periods of Iranian political system of Pahlavi, I and II and Islamic republic of Iran, individual, ethnic, cultural freedoms were taken especially of Kurds, Baluchs, Arabs and Kurdish nationalistic movments and Communist and socialist parties as Tudeh Party.
Iranian Regime in both periods of kingship and present state suppressed severely the ethnicities and left parties. Many of Kurds and communist were killed, hanged and detained or had to flee outside Iran and to live in unwanted exile. A number of Kurds with Kurdish parties fled to Iraqi Kurdistan. Iranian Kurdistan Democratic party and Iranian Kurdistan Komala party nearly 50 years are living in exile both in Iraqi Kurdistan camps and in European countries. Also, Tudeh party and Organization of Iranian People’s Fedaei Guerrillas، OIPFG) and Organization of Revolutionary Workers of Iran, O.R.W.I) they were forced to live in unwanted exile(European countries) for a half of century until now.(3) This article looks over Iranian policies in politic shortly in previous state and present state in general, then addresses to Iranian engaging and interaction to political parties and especially Kurdish opposition. In this regard, I have tried to review some related articles to show Iranian view to political situation of country and situation of opposition parties.
In the previous government that called Pahlavi I, it was a form of absolute kingdom, one-person managed country, and we can call it a kind of dictatorship. Reza Khan (from 15 December 1925) the Iranian king tried to bring the power a nationalistic idea and he did not allow any other to establish party except a party that called the Progressive Party which led by king himself. He ignored another idea and political pluralism. Many of the intellectual and writers believed there is a political repression in Iran for example, Sadeq Hedayet, Bozorg Alavi, Farokhi yazdi and Mirzadeh Eshqi, etc.
His government carried out an extensive policy of Persianization trying to create a single, united and largely homogeneous nation, similar to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s policy of Turkification. (4)
At the same time, Reza Khan in order to establish and guarantee its absolute power, it destroyed the constitution in Iran, suppressed the press and independent parties, and seized the parliamentary immunity of the MPs. In this way, the National Assembly became an obedient and ceremonial institution against the Shah’s will. (5) Thus, the Modernist Party initially supported Reza Shah, but first gave its place to the New Iran Party and then the Progressive Party (An organization was imitating the fascist party of Benito Mussolini and the Republican Party of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk); But the same Progressive Party was soon disbanded on suspicion of having dangerous Republican ideas. (6) During this period, not only all political activities of leftist groups such as the Communist Party of Iran and the 53-member group, but even women’s social activities were stopped and newspapers and magazines were completely subjugated or closed.(7) Reza Khan also suppressed all the popular and national movements of the Iranian nations, especially the Kurdish uprising led by Simko(Esmaeel-Agha) and Mirza -Kuchek -khan. (8)
In 16 September 1941 until February 1979, the second Pahlavi (Pahlavi II) to name Mohammad Reza Shah son of the Reza khan became the king of Iran. In this period, he suppressed autonomous regions in western of Iran and hanged the Kurdish leader of Republic Kurdish in Mehabad city on 1946. (9) In this stage Kurdish language was banned and Kurds was deprived of social, ethnic and cultures rights. Many of political activists were fled to Iraqi Kurdistan like brothers of Moeini, Ahmad-Tofiq and Ismaeel-Sharif Zadeh and etc. (10)
The Allies were supposed to withdraw their forces from Iran no later than six months after the end of World War II, but in practice the Soviet Union violated this agreement. “Pishehvari” with the support of the Soviet Union in Tabriz and “Qazi- Mohammad” in Kurdistan raised the flag of autonomy. (11)
The Shah, with the help of the United States (12), and the policy of the “Qawam-al-saltaneh”(Iranian prime minister), succeeded in removing Soviet support for the rebels and with the help of the army, took control over of Azerbaijan and Kurdistan. He also had the opportunity to regain his lost power and seize it. (13) Newspapers greeted him entrance in Tabriz with headlines such as “the first great achievement in a long way” and “the danger of the separation of Iran was eliminated by a Pahlavi”. (14)
During the 1960s and 1970s, Iran’s economy grew rapidly, increasing the Shah’s arrogance. A CIA report states that the Shah considers himself “having a divine mission” to run his country. Following this advance, the Shah pursued tough policies against leftist and moderate forces. He believed that the clergy (except Khomeini supporters) is one of his trusted allies in the war against communism and secular nationalism in Iran. This policy gave the Iranian clergy the opportunity to establish monopoly networks among the people. (15) In 1974, he announced the establishment of a Mono-party system in Iran by forming the Resurrection Party. The idea quickly became the subject of opposition and ridicule. Even “Amir-Abbas-Hoveida”, the first secretary general of the Resurrection Party (in private), ridiculed the Shah’s idea. [Ibid, 382]
Mohammad Reza lost support from the Shi’a clergy of Iran and the working class due to alleged corruption related to himself and the royal family, suppression of political dissent via Iran’s intelligence agency, SAVAK (including the arrest of up to 3,200 political prisoners), widespread torture and imprisonment of political dissidents, (16), banishment of the Tudeh Party, US and UK support for his regime, his modernization policies, secularism, relations with Israel, and clashes with leftists Kurdish rebels.
Following the establishment of the Islamic Republic the very beginning it, oppose to the realization of the political and cultural rights of the Iranian people began.
At the same time, with the suppression of the Baluch and Turkmen people’s movements, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Khomeini, launched a nationwide war against the people of Kurdistan on August 19, 1979, with the order of Jihad. Ayatollah Khomeini’s religious decree led many people from Shiite areas to volunteer for the war in Kurdistan, which in the early years killed tens of thousands of defenseless people and destroyed the Iranian people and dozens of villages in Kurdistan. (17) __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Exile and displacement in the shadow of the terrorists of the Islamic Republic of Iran (compare with (18) in references
A: Iraqi Kurdistan camps
“We must crush immigration and deport those invaders already living on our soil”. (19)
Kurdish opposition had to flee to Iraqi Kurdistan and live there as political immigrants in some camps outside cities. Although the military and political sections of oppositions sometimes were in fight against Iranian Islamic government, but most of the immigrant Kurds were settled in those camps with minimum of facilitate and they were deprived of a free life and had to fight with hardships and difficulties in exile. (20) At same time a number of these immigrants by the UN of Turkey moved to European Scandinavian countries. Persian opposition of Iran especially monarchists fled to USA and were settled there. But also, a number of Persian leftist parties like Tudeh party and Organization of Iranian People’s Fedaei Guerrillas، OIPFG) and Organization of Revolutionary Workers of Iran, O.R.W.I) moved to eastern European especially Tudeh party which had headquarters in Eastern Germany and its Radio broadcasting by name of (Payke-Iran) which located in Bulgarian. But after dissolution of the Soviet Union, many of these Iranian immigrated to the Western European and Scandinavian. (21)
I will discuss here more about Iranian Kurdish opposition and immigrants were sought refuge in northern of Iraq in camps. Since they took refuge, unfortunately they suffered of many difficulties and betrayal by the Iraqi Kurdish militia both the PUK and PDK.
Older persons faced a variety of age-specific disadvantages during times of conflict and displacement. (22), They had to adapt with new environment and situation and sometimes they suffered of different sickness and couldn’t endure they were dying. There were very few health facilities and not everyone had access to them. They had to endure unwanted exile and migration in such difficult and exhausting conditions. (23)
In those hard times, nearly 200 members of Kurdish opposition were assassinated or handed over to the Islamic Republic of Iran. Most of these terrors (killings) lunched by Iranian agents in Iraqi Kurdistan that a number of these murderers belonged to PUK, patriot united Kurdistan which rules the province of Soleimani and its environs. Although in the past PDK (Iraqi Kurdistan democrat party) has killed some Kurdish opposition members like Soleyman-Moinin etc. and their bodies were handed over to the loyal Iranian forces of Mohammad Reza Shah. (24)
Exile and Displacement
B: Sweden as a free country
The character of migration to ‘northern’ states changed from the late 1980s. Globalization and deepening economic inequalities, failed states and ethnic conflicts with massive expulsions of populations implied a dramatic rise in the numbers of people seeking asylum. In Sweden, the peak in numbers in 1989 was followed by another in 1992 at the outbreak of war in Bosnia. (25)
At the same time groups of Kurdish people in due of outbreak of war between Iran and Iraq fled to Sweden. Some of them were member of Kurdish opposition meanwhile other families plus some group of Iranians were not political refugee but they came to get a life in economic and social security.
In Sweden the total number of Iranian and Kurds not so much in compare with Bosnian refugee on 1990 decade. Today, in Sweden nearly 100/000 Iranian are living here but in 90 decade it was more less than present situation. Looking at the situation of the Iranian refugees at that time, and especially the political Kurds, it is clear that the Swedish government had a double standard policy. On the one hand, the Swedish government welcomes the Iranian Kurdish refugees and on the other hand, it is silent and appeasement in the face of their assassination and killing by the terrorists of the Islamic Republic of Iran. I can here point out to name of 3 Kurdish political refugee that were killed by Iranian Islamic Republic agent terrorists. A woman to name Effat-Qazi that was the girl of Kurdish president (Qazi-Mohammad) in the Kurdish republic of Mahabad 1946, and Kamran-Hedayety a member of democratic Kurdistan party and Karim-Mohamadi the member of Iranian democratic Kurdistan party. Effat-Qazi was killed in her home by a mail bomb in front of his house in Orebro, Kamran also killed by a mail bomb. The last Karim Mohammad-Zadeh was slaughtered in the bathroom of his house in Ninashamn.(26) The Swedish government was returned the assassin of Dr. Sadegh-Sharafkandi, Hassan-pour, Zamani or Abdul Rahman Bani Hashemi, to Iran before the Mykonos restaurant assassinations in Berlin, Germany on 17 September 1992. (27), (28).
In the same restaurant a meeting was scheduled of Ingvar Carlsson, a two-term Prime Minister of Sweden and leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party, Mona Sahlin, the secretary of the Swedish Social Democratic Party and Pierre Schori, the former Swedish State Secretary for Foreign Affairs.(29) Due to a telephone call to Ingvar Carlsson from Carl Bildt, the then-current Prime Minister of Sweden, who urged Carlsson to immediately return to Sweden due to the alleged urgent state of the Swedish economy, all three flew back to Sweden the same day and thus probably escaped being assassinated as well.(29)
Conclusion: This paper reviewed the Iranian political system and its interaction with left parties especially Kurdish political parties. Here, I have to mention the Amsterdam Treaty included among the goals of the European Union, as well as the article 2 of this convention explicitly shows that making an area of freedom, security and justice is a basic right for immigration, asylum, and the prevention and combating of terrorism and political crimes.
Also, I tried to determine those links between political immigration and its security in diaspora. It was argued that the terrorist acts of the 1990s were a fixed and unchangeable strategy of the Islamic Republic of Iran against kurdish immigrants and political eastern kurdish groups. However, the study of the short history of Iranian terroristic activities reveals that the security case of political immigration in the Sweden has covered with some doubts, dimness and distrust consider to Swedish politic policy. However, the Swedish officials were escorted back the killers Iranian terrorist and were quietly, with high respect to Tehran. (By names of Reza-Taslimi and -Hasan-Pour-Zamani).
The bring back of these killers, explicitly shows Sweden’s violation of International conventions.
- Pahlavi, Mohammad Reza – Towards the Great Civilization – Third Edition – Pars Books and Publications – Los Angeles, 2007 p. 96)
- Research Center of the Islamic Consultative Assembly of Iran, Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, November 17, 2015)
- Amin-Awe, D, Kamran, The Left and the Kurdish National Movement in Iran (1-5 CE) on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the partition of Kurdistan, 2015, Koye, Kurdistan)
- Abrahamian, Ervand (1982). Iran Between Two Revolutions. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. pp. 123–163. Tehran, First print 1999 pp126, 171, 172, Amanat, Abbas Iran: A Modern History, 24 October 2017.
- Rahbar, Mohamad, “What is doing Reza khan in street?”, Persian BBC, 8th August 2014,
Abrahamian, Ervand, 1999, (www.mizanonline.com).
- Kronin, Stephani, Reza Khan and formation of New Iran, Jami Publication, Tehran, 2004, p 56, Persian version
- Kasrawi, Ahmed, The 18-year’s history of Azerbaijan: a remnant of the constitutional history of Iran, 1977, p 833, Persian version
- Eagleton, William, Jr. The Kurdish Republic of 1946, London: Oxford University Press, 1963.
- Gadani, Jalil, a half century struggle, 1980, Koye, Kurdistan
- Majd, Mohammad Gholi, 2001.
- Cottam, Richard W, 1988, Iran and the United States: a cold war case study. US: University of Pittsburgh Press 86.
- Majd, Mohammad Gholi, 2001, Great Britain & Reza Shah: the plunder of Iran, 1921-1941. US: The University Press of Florida. p 3, 4.
- Rajaee, Farhang ,2007, Islamism and modernism: the changing discourse in Iran. US: University of Texas Press. p 39.
- Milani, Abbas, 2011, The Shah. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. p 377.
- AP-NEWS, “Torture still scars Iranians 40 years after revolution”. 6 February 2019. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
- Qasemlu, Abdulrahman, 40 years struggle for freedom, 2002. Publication of Iranian Kurdistan democratic party, Koye, Kurdistan
- Swedish Refugee Relief NGOs in the Shadow of Nazi Germany:
Possibilities and Restraints in ‘the People’s Home’).
- Gadani, Jalil, an half century struggle, 1980, Koye, Kurdistan
- Amin-Awe, D, Kamran, The Left and the Kurdish National Movement in Iran (1-5 CE) on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the partition of Kurdistan, 2015, Koye, Kurdistan).
- Strong et al. Conflict and Health (2015) 9:12 DOI 10.1186/s13031-014-0029-y.
- United Nations Bulletin, 1990, Iraqi Kurdistan branch, Erbil
- “The betrayals of Barzani’s interim leadership to the Iranian Kurdish nation,”, Central Committee of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran, 16/09/1981) and (https://www.radiozamaneh.com/ HYPERLINK “https://www.radiozamaneh.com/246350%2018/11/2018” HYPERLINK “https://www.radiozamaneh.com/246350%2018/11/2018”
Interview with Reza-Kaabi, a political bureau member of Iranian Komala party.
- Marita Eastmond (2011) Egalitarian Ambitions, Constructions of Difference: The Paradoxes of Refugee Integration in Sweden, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 37:2, 277-295, DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2010.521323 To link to this article: https://doi.org/ HYPERLINK “https://doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2010.521323” HYPERLINK “https://doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2010.521323”
- Murder at Mykonos, KDP press November4, 2018.
- http://www.stockholmian.com/news/persiska/ HYPERLINK “http://www.stockholmian.com/news/persiska/2010/05/033_encrypt.htm” HYPERLINK “http://www.stockholmian.com/news/persiska/2010/05/033
- Svensson, Niklas (26 May 2010). “Här kunde Sahlin och Carlsson ha mördats”. Expressen (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 28 May 2010. Retrieved 26 May 2010.