ERBIL — After the resumption of military struggles against the Iranian government, Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) is once again active within the Kurdish territories of northwestern Iran, with Tehran accusing them of conducting armed operations on behalf of Saudi Arabia.
In an exclusive interview with BasNews, Hassan Sharafi, the Deputy Secretary General of KDPI, rejects the allegations and reasserts that they have no plan to halt their military operations against the Iranian forces.
This interview was translated from Kurdish and edited for clarity and length.
BasNews: After carrying out several military operations inside the Iranian Kurdistan, have your Peshmerga forces halted the operations once again?
Sharafi: Not at all, the KDPI military operations continue across Rojhalat [the Iranian Kurdistan] but the scales vary according to different situations in different areas. We have not deployed any Peshmerga fighters into Iran as we have many people there.
BasNews: To what extend the Kurdish population inside Iran is supporting your struggle?
Sharafi: Last month we called on the people in the Iranian Kurdistan to support a campaign on the 27th anniversary of Qasemlou’s assassination, and it was widely responded by the people. Despite the Iranian security forces making pressure on them, people closed down the market.
BasNews: Is PKK [Kurdistan Workers’ Party] preventing your forces’ mobilization across the KRG borders with Iran?
Sharafi: There are some issues but we are attempting to prevent them from being deepened. After clashes erupted last year [between KDPI and PKK] which resulted in several casualties on our side, we held some meetings to address the tensions.
BasNews: After Iran threatened to attack KDPI camps in Koya district of Kurdistan Region, how your appeal to the international community helped protect your people against such possible assaults?
Sharafi: We informed dozens of foreign countries over the threat made by the Islamic Republic of Iran, and they responded to our appeal. However, the threat was not only against us, it was also against the Kurdistan Regional Government.
We believe that the Iranian threats to attack our camps are still active.
BasNews: Iran has accused Saudi Arabian consulate general in Erbil for funding and supporting you to attack Iran, any truth to the claim?
Sharafi: These are, in deed, funny statements by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Saudi Arabia, just like any other country has its diplomatic mission in the region and they are not interfering in other countries’ affairs, like Iran does.
We do not have any ties with Saudi Arabia, but we have diplomatic relations with the West. Such allegations are baseless but not new.
BasNews: Have you been called for launching negotiations with Iran after the most recent military clashes?
Sharafi: They have not asked for talks, neither did we as we believe that Iran is not intended to address the Kurdish question through peaceful negotiations. We previously went through bitter experiences in negotiating with Iran.
However, we wish the issue could be resolved through negotiations, but the Islamic Republic is not a interested in peace as much as it is interested in military engagement.
BasNews: Do you believe Iran is posing obstacles to the expected referendum on Kurdish independence in the Kurdistan Region?
Sharafi: We do not want to interfere in the Kurdistan Region’s affairs; but we are certain that Iran won’t be pleased by an independence referendum in Kurdistan Region and it will create obstacles.
Iran says it is a friendly country [to Kurdistan Region], but its not true in deed. They are against Kurds everywhere as much as they are against Kurds in Rojhalat [the Iranian Kurdistan].