Stuck Between Turkey, Iran & Iraq – Why KURDS Face Ethnic Cleansing, Torture In Orthodox Iran

When Iran’s late Ayatollah Khomeini delivered his philosophy of political governance within the frame of Shia Sharia to his nation, he certainly meant that all traces of pre-Islamic Iran, meaning the Iran of Zoroastrian background, had to be replaced by an orthodox Islamic nation.

It meant contradiction on two counts. First, the deep-rooted pre-Islamic traditions would not go away so soon, and second, the pervasive impact of an age of scientific and technological advancement, which the Iranian nation had embraced during the Pahlavi regime.

Civilizational Conflict

Many experts on Iran think that even after conversion to the Islamic faith in 7-8th centuries, Iranians remained proudly nostalgic about their pre-Islamic history and culture.

However, a proselytized community has the psychological compulsion of bragging that it is more loyal than the king. Iran’s animus against the Jewish state has no justification whatsoever except that the entire ire is directed towards the Arabs — Saudis in particular — that they are compromising the Quranic commandment of “hate and destroy the Kafirs and Yahood.” 

Otherwise, there is no reason for Iran to be an outright enemy of Israel. Iran’s anti-Israel narrative stems from this compulsion. China’s mediation for Iran-Saudi rapprochement has the sole purpose of China forging unity among the Islamists as a bulwark against the American influence in the Middle East.

Kurdish-inhabited areas in the Middle East (1992)

Fangs Of The Clerical Regime  

Khomeini’s anti-monarchy stand won him massive support from the Iranian left. It worked because Khomeini had majorly impacted Iran’s rural population. But at the end of the day, the Iranian left was betrayed, and for the first time in Iran’s history, political power was grabbed by the Ayatollahs.

Fully aware that the Iranian middle class would neither welcome orthodoxy nor distance itself from the glorious history of the past, the clerical regime was always doubtful of its perpetuation.

This is why, from the very beginning, the clerical regime resorted to suppression and oppression of liberal and truly nationalist elements, especially Iranian women. In subjecting Iranian women to oppression, the Ayatollahs invoked the confusing sharia plus their fatwa (decrees) to impose almost inhumane restrictions on the women of Iran.

The history of four decades of clerical rule in Iran is replete with anti-national and anti-liberal operations by various state security agencies and special task force organizations within the country. For example, the moral police are given the authority to spot-punish women who do not strictly observe the mandated veil and other restrictions.

In addition, Iran has raised terror proxies in the name of supporting Islamic movements in some Middle Eastern countries to whip up anti-Israel violence by posing as their supporters. In reality, these proxies have been working against the interests of the US, with which Iran is at loggerheads ever since the expulsion of Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi.

Against The Kurds

The ethnic Kurds inhabit the region where the borders of three states—Iran, Iraq, and Turkey meet. Although they profess the Sunni Islamic faith, they are the most liberal, culturally close, and united group.

They have a solid political forum that seeks a homeland for the Kurds—an aspiration fiercely rejected by all three contiguous countries. Like the Afghans, the Kurds are fiercely independent and cannot be cowed down by any neighboring power.

The regime of the Ayatollahs has never been kind and sympathetic to the Kurd ethnic population of Northern Iran because they have stood by their cultural traditions and aspirations.

Protest in Berlin, Germany against Turkey’s military offensive into north-eastern Syria on 10 October 2019 – Wiki

The story of the arrest and custodial death of Jina Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish girl, by the Iranian morality police resulted in a nationwide protest in Iran. In the violent retaliation by the state security and morality forces that followed the protest, more than 400 women were killed in state action. The Kurds became the new victims of discrimination and oppression of state power.

In the first 11 months of 2023, Iran executed 746 people, prompting United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Gutierrez to observe that “Iran was carrying them out at an alarming rate,” reported the Asia Times on March 11.

It added that so far in 2024, Iran had executed at least eight Kurdish political prisoners, including four on January 24, 2024, who were convicted on dubious charges such as “waging war against God and corruption on Earth.”

Haidar Khazri, a Kurdish–born scholar and a professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Central Florida, has previously written about the “Women, Life, Freedom movement and the Kurdish female fighters who focus on the protection of women’s rights and protests by the Iranian people against their government.”

He says that those demonstrations included protests against Iran’s use of the death penalty that, according to a 2022 US Department of State report, “disproportionately affected religious and ethnic minorities.”

In the parliamentary election of March 1, 2024, the clerics maintained a grip on the house. But the plight of ethnic and religious minorities remains an ongoing tragedy with no end in sight.

It will be remembered that there was a nationwide boycott of that election, and the voter turnout was estimated to be less than 41 percent, which was the lowest since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Amnesty International warned in 2023 that “the Iranian authorities had embarked on an execution spree.

In November 2023, human rights groups reported intense crackdowns on protesters in two Kurdish cities. In Mahabad, the authorities declared martial law. In Javanrud, people were massacred, and the government was accused of ethnic cleansing, according to the Centre for Human Rights in Iran and Kurdistan Human Rights Network.

1979 Iranian Women Day’s protests against mandatory hijab laws – Wiki

Thousands of demonstrators stopped traffic in Iran on September 19, 2022, to protest the death of Mahsa Amini. The Kurdish region of Iran has been the epicenter of nationwide protests that erupted in September 2022.

Discrimination against the Kurd ethnic minority in Iran remains overloaded and even enshrined in the constitution. In Iran, people of non-Persian ethnicities constitute more than half of the population and speak nearly 100 different dialects when Article 15 of the Iranian Constitution recognizes only Persian/Farsi as “the official language” and script of Iran.

This means ethnic minorities like the Kurds are prohibited from learning or teaching their language. In 2020, for instance, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Court sentenced Zara Muhammadi to ten years in prison for teaching Kurdish, her native language.

Ten years earlier, Kurdish primary school teacher Farzad Kamangara was executed for advocating greater cultural and political self-determination for the Kurds.

This level of discrimination against and oppression of the Kurdish ethnic minority by the clerical regime of Iran raises a pertinent question: Should or should not the UN expel Iran from the membership of the UN on charges of ethnic cleansing?