Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, September 14, 2007

Iran continues shelling of Iraqi Kurdish villages

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, IRGC, has been engaged in a war against Kurdish rebels in the provinces bordering Iraq for at least a year, the Gulf News reported Wednesday.

The Iranian provinces of Kurdistan and Kermanshahan, where ethnic Kurds are a majority, support the Kurdistan Democratic Party, PDK, which has been campaigning for greater autonomy from Iran since the 1940s. Since the assassination of two of the groups leaders in 1989 and 2002, the Party has joined others in calling for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic. However, they have not endorsed armed uprising as a means to reach this goal.

The IRGC states that the rebels they are fighting are based in Iraqi Kurdistan, despite the fact that most of the fighting has taken place well inside Iran.

In June, the IRGC began shelling Iraqi Kurdish villages, killing an unknown number of civilians and forcing thousands of Kurds – both Iraqis and Iranians – to join other “displaced persons” in finding refuge deeper inside Iraq. The attacks have taken place within the strongholds of Iraqi Kurdish leaders Massoud Barzani and Jalal Talabani. Tehran believes the leaders are attempting to create a Kurdish insurgency in Iran as a part of the “American plot” to destabilize the country.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki met with Iranian “Supreme Guide” Ali Khamenei in Tehran earlier this summer to protest these attacks. In spite of the meeting, the IRGC has continued to shell the villages.

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