Thursday, May 25, 2006

Appendix 7-Don't Critique PDKI to Refute Federalism

Appendix 7-Don't Critique PDKI to Refute Federalism

Recently a number of critiques of Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) have been published in order to refute federalism. This is as if somebody to write a critique of Islamic Republic to refute republicanism. I have always avoided to discuss particular groups as much as I could, unless an organization was equal to the political spectrum it represents. I have essentially discussed different spectra of the opposition. In fact, I think there are six main spectra of the Iranian opposition and five of them have political organizations. I should add that being an opposition group does not mean it is progressive, which I have discussed at length before [], but let's look at the main political spectra of Iran:

1. Constitutionalists comprised of various organizations and groups such as The Constitutionalist Party of Iran that basically support Reza Pahlavi.
2. Religious reformists comprised of various organizations and groups such as Jebhe Mosharekat, Mojahedine Enghelabe Eslami, Hezbe Etedalioon, and even Nehzate Azadi.
3. Mojahedine Khalgh is a political spectrum and an organization at the same time.
4. Jebhe Melli is a spectrum of nationalists comprised of organizations like Hezbe Iran, Hezbe Melate Iran, Hezbe PanIranist, MPG, and others.
5. The Left comprised of many groups including Hezbe Tudeh, Cherikhayeh Aksariyat, the main part of Etehade Jomhourikhan, and Jomhourikhahane Laiic.
6. The futurist spectrum essentially does not have a particular political organization yet.

The first five spectra, in my opinion, represent all the existing political organizations of Iran's opposition and as noted above the most important question for me was not any particular organization within each spectrum, rather was whether any particular spectrum was progressive or not, in other words, if the views of that spectrum became the guiding light of the leadership of Iranian society tomorrow, would our society advance or regress. This has been the discussion I have followed for years and explained in details in my book entitled "The Futurist Iran" [].

My question was not in vain either, because after the 1979 Revolution, an opposition force of the previous regime, came to power, and moved the society more backward than where it was in 1979. Thus asking the question of the programs of different spectra of Iranian political opposition is a legitimate inquiry. And in reality during the last 26 years there has been enough discussion about this and everyone knows enough about the programs of different political spectra and this is a great achievement of Iran?s pro-democracy movement that people are more aware when choosing to join organizations of any political spectrum.

Let's return to the main topic of this article, I see the PDKI as something like Tudeh Party, but in Kurdistan, with the difference that their views are more like the Pan Iranist Party with the substitution of the Parsi race with a Kurdish one. As a result, the *opposition* of Pan Iranists with federalism and the *support* of PDKI for federalism, are both based on their misunderstanding of federalism, viewing it wrongly as an ethnic government, which has nothing to do with the real demand for a federal state in Iran.

In my view, Kurdish racism is condemned, and in the past I have written critique of PDKI, that inside its organization, it advocates the equivalence of "Iran" with the "Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI)" and equates "Iranians" with the "supporters of IRI," and it condemns the Persians for the oppression of Kurds, and thus instigates the ethnic conflict. The way to prevent the fire of ethnic conflict, is not in denying the existence of various ethnic and nationalities in Iran, which itself instigates national hatred, and rather than preventing it.

In fact, outside Kurdistan and among foreign countries, PDKI is known a lot more than Komala. The reason is not just because it has had a long history like Hezbe Tudeh. The reason is more because this party relies more on diplomatic relations and tries to use its connection to Iranian state and foreign states to achieve its goals and this is why those individuals who because of personal gain are willing to sell the interests of the movement to governments, or those who have been agents of different states, had easily infiltrated PDKI, and in fact I think this was the reason the beloved Ghasemloo was easily killed by IRI. But as far as PDKI is concerned, an organization like Komala and its leader Abdulla Mohtadi, are more informed than meabout them, and knowledgeable friends like Shoeyb Zakareiaii have written enough about PDKI for those interested to read, and there is no need for me to dwell more on the subject [].

But as far as the "Pan-Pars" position, which is wrongly called "Pan Iranist," an ethnic group can be so big and with enough strength to be called a nationality or a nation, but this does not mean wishing separatism. For example, the Iranian Persian speaking people in the U.S. call themselves Persian. Should the American people deny the national existence of them and tell them there is only one American nation, so that they would not claim separatism later. The national existence is no reason for separatism.

Moreover, the more a country is multi-ethnic and multi-national, the federal system is more suitable for it because federalism is more responsive to the local peculiarities of a country and this by no means should be understood as an ethnic state.

A Kurd living in Tehran and having part of his family to be Persians, can be understood as part of the Kurdish nation in mixture with the Pars nation. National mixing and amalgamation in a melting pot alongside the acceptance of the existence of ethnic and national groups is a reality and is no reason to instigate the fire of ethnic racism, by denying the existence of a particular ethnic group or nationality, which means nothing but to continue to keep the supremacy of the ethnic group that has the supremacy in the central government.

For example, many of the kings of Iranian dynasties in the last 1000 years were Turks and in fact had come originally from the Ottoman Empire. Does this mean that Iranian government did not have a Parsi ethnic supremacy? Not at all. Many British people went to the place, which is now Israel, and created a Jewish state, where the Jewish ethnic element has supremacy. The fact that these people themselves were originally from Britain did not make their state British.

I have discussed all these historical discussion in details in this book and my note here is to show the futility of the misleading historical discussions to justify that there are no nationalities in Iran and to "prove" the theory of the so-called only one nation in Iran supposedly called "Iran nation", and that these arguments only instigate more ethnic conflict because of denying the existence of various ethnic and national groups.

Iran's modern state from the time of the Constitutional Revolution of 1906 could have picked the model of American Revolution rather than the model of the French Revolution, which would have had more affinity with the reality of Iran, which would have been more conducive to achieving democracy in Iran, as it has been even under the pre-Islamic satrap system. And it was the mistake of the Constitutional Movement that it did not pick the American model, and perhaps was not even familiar with it, and basically the reason to accept the centralism was not because of keeping unity of the movement, because at the time nobody advocated a federal model.

In my opinion, the Kurdish groups especially outside of Iran have the opportunity to do joint activity with the non-Kurd Iranian groups and together work for the future of Iran so that these mistrusts end. Those who remain as pan-pars and the as pan-kurd, yet issue joint communiqu鳬 and accept each other's racist views, will not solve any problem. One should put an end to racism from both ends.