PDKI Leader: Era of Iranian Expansionism is Coming to an End
PDKI held its 18th leadership meeting at a secret location in August 2017 due to Iranian terrorist threats. In the meeting, PDKI’s leadership decided to strengthen and expand Rasan – the past years reinvigorated struggle in eastern (Iranian) Kurdistan. The leadership also expressed its support for the independence referendum in southern (Iraqi) Kurdistan.
PDKI’s 18th leadership meeting was opened with a minute of silence to honor the latest Peshmerga martyrs, Yaqob Moradi and Hemin Molannejad.
Mustafa Hijri, the leader of PDKI, submitted a report to the 18th leadership meeting in which he outlined the party’s assessment of current geopolitical trends, as well as developments in Kurdistan and Iran.
The report points out that in the past decade the Islamic Republic of Iran managed to expand its influence by instigating sectarian violence and supporting terrorism in the Middle East. Power vacuums in the region, especially following the collapse of the regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as the war in Syria, were exploited by Iran in pursuit of its expansionist objectives. The withdrawal of American troops in Iraq, including the Obama administration’s Iran policy, has fed Iranian expansionism.
The report further underlines that changes in U.S. policy toward the Islamist regime in Tehran in combination with the opposition of major regional actors to Iranian aggression has coalesced into significant hurdles to Iran’s expansionism.
The report also addresses the nuclear agreement and Iran’s role in Syria. It highlights the fact that the nuclear deal has failed to mitigate the economic hardships of ordinary people in Iran. That the new U.S. administration finds Iran in breach of the spirit of the deal is also a significant development.
American concerns about the Islamic Republic’s expansionist and aggressive policies have been amplified by the Islamist regime’s ballistic missile program. Meanwhile, Iran’s heavy military presence in Syria, ostensibly justified for the purpose of fighting ISIS but which in fact is in the service of saving the Assad regime and increasing Iranian influence in the Levant, has been overshadowed by Russia’s military intervention and the increasing American military involvement in Syria. Iran’s effort to realize the “Shia crescent” plan has been undermined by agreements between the United States and Russia to establish safe zones in eastern and southeastern Syria.
The report also sheds light on the situation in Iraq. Due to the withdrawal of U.S. military forces in Iraq, followed by U.S. political disengagement during the previous administration, Iran essentially came to dominate Iraq. However, the United States has increased its military presence in Iraq and the new U.S. administration has demonstrated political will in countering Iranian hegemonic schemes.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, other Gulf countries and Egypt have taken steps to counter Iranian hegemonic schemes in Iraq. Shiite forces and figures in Iraq are now openly voicing their concerns over Iranian hegemony and have come to realize the detrimental consequences of Iranian domination of their country.
Given these dynamics in the region, Mr. Hijri concludes in his report that the era of Iranian expansionism is coming to an end and it may be followed by a rollback of Iranian destabilizing role in the Middle East.
The report also calls for greater unity among Kurdish forces in all parts of Kurdistan. In eastern Kurdistan, people are becoming more organized in their struggle against the Islamist regime. Moreover, urban Peshmerga units have been formed all over Kurdistan to protect the Kurdish people from Iranian aggression.
Regarding the situation in Iran, the report highlights that the human rights situation has worsened dramatically in recent years. As documented by human rights organizations like Amnesty, human rights violations have increased since Hassan Rouhani became president of the Islamist regime.
As far as the infighting between the regimes factions are concerned, the report concludes that such infighting reflects power struggles within the regime rather than ideological or policy differences. The bottom line is that the different Islamist factions are committed to preserving the Islamist regime and its expansionist policies.
Against the backdrop of regional developments as well as developments in Kurdistan and Iran, PDKI decided during its 18th Leadership meeting to strengthen and expand Rasan through new methods.
The leadership of the party also expressed its support for the planned independence referendum in southern Kurdistan.