Rebellions in Iranian Kurdistan
||It has been suggested that this article be merged with Kurdish separatism in Iran. (Discuss) Proposed since September 2013.|
Rebellions in Iranian Kurdistan or the Kurdish–Iranian conflict is an ongoing, long running, conflict between the Kurdish opposition in Western Iran and the governments of modern Iran, lasting since the emergence of Pahlavi Reza Shah in 1918. Some put the starting point of the organized Kurdish separatism to 1943, when Komala and shortly KDPI parties began their political activities in Iran, aiming to gain self-rule in Kurdish regions. The rebellion is carried on today by the PJAK.
Iranian governments have never employed the same level of brutality against Iranian Kurds as did Turkey or Iraq, but it has always been implacably opposed to any suggestion of Kurdish separatism. A significant number of Kurds in Iran show no interest in Kurdish nationalism, especially Shia Kurds who even vigorously reject idea of autonomy, preferring direct rule from Tehran. Iranian national identity is questioned mainly in the peripheral Kurdish Sunni regions.
The beginning of the struggle is often dated to post-World War I events in then Qajar Persia. Some 5,000 people, including many Assyrian civilians, died in the Simko Shikak revolt between 1918 and 1922. The direct conflict of Simko with Iran escalated in 1920, but he was eventually defeated by Reza Khan. Simko's second rebellion was defeated by central government in 1926, while another Kurdish tribal revolt by Jafar Sultan was put down in 1931 and an additional one by Hama Rashid in 1941-4. Transformation from tribal to Kurdish nationalist struggle in Iran took place in the aftermath of World War II. The boldest separatist attempt of the Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) took place in 1946, when nearly 1,000 died in the Mahabad arena of the 1946 Iran crisis. The Soviet supported attempt to establish a Kurdish state in Western Iran eventually failed. More than a decade later, in violent tribal uprisings, launched with KDPI support through in 1966-7, Kurdish regions suffered a major blow, with KDPI reducing its activity up until the Iranian Revolution of 1979. In the most violent episode of the conflict, more than 30,000 Kurds died starting with the 1979 rebellion and the consequent KDPI insurgency of early 1990s. Though KDPI refrained from armed separatism from 1996, a violent struggle in Kurdish regions of West Iran re-emerged in 2004 as the still ongoing PJAK rebellion, in which hundreds Kurdish militants and Iranian forces and civilians have died. Though a cease-fire between Iran and PJAK was established in September 2011, several deadly clashes have followed in 2012 and 2013.
- 1 Pre-Modern rebellions
- 2 Modern rebellions
- 3 See also
- 4 References
- 5 External links
1918–1922 Simko Shikak revolt
Simko Shikak revolt was a rebellion by Kurdish tribes, led by Simko Shikak from 1918 until 1922. Since 1920, the rebellious Simko entered the conflict with Iranian leadership with the emergence of the Pahlavi Reza Shah.
1926 Simko rebellion in Iran
By 1926, Simko had regained control of his tribe and begun another outright rebellion against the state. When the army engaged him, half of his troops defected to the tribe’s previous leader and Simqu fled to Iraq.
1926 Kurdistan Province revolt
Jafar Sultan revolt
Jafar Sultan of Hewraman region took control of the region between Marivan and north of Halabja and remained independent until 1925. Despite the attempts to subdue him under the central rule, the tribal leader revolted in 1929, but was effectively crushed.
Republic of Mahabad (1946)
Iran crisis of 1946 included an attempt of the KDPI to establish the independent Republic of Mahabad in Iranian Kurdistan. The attempt failed with military victory of the Iranian forces and the Kurdish Republic was abolished. Some 1,000 died during the crisis.
1967 Kurdish revolt
In mid-1960s a series of Kurdish tribal disturbances erupted in Western Iran, fed up by the revival of the Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran (KDP-I). In 1967-8 Iranian government troops suppressed a Kurdish revolt in Western Iran, consolidating the previous Kurdish uprisings in Mahabad-Urumiya region.
1979 Kurdish rebellion in Iran was an insurrection led by the KDPI and its allies in Iranian Kurdistan, which became the most violent rebellion against the new Iranian regime, following the Islamic Revolution. The rebellion ended in December 1982, with 10,000 killed and 200,000 displaced.
Insurrection by the KDPI took place in Iranian Kurdistan through early and mid-90s, initiated by assassination of its leader in exile in July 1989. The insurrection ended in 1996, as KDPI announced a unilateral cease fire.
Iran–PJAK conflict is a recent rebellion of PJAK, lasting since April 2004 until present. PJAK is based in the border area with Iraqi Kurdistan and is affiliated with the PKK. The PJAK goal is an establishment of a Kurdish autonomy and they do not pose any serious threat to the regime of the Islamic Republic. The activities of PJAK ended, following the 2011 Iranian offensive on PJAK bases and the consequent cease-fire, established on September 2011. The cease-fire was violated twice in 2012. A number of clashes between PJAK and IRGC took place also in May 2013, with at least 2 Iranian soldiers killed.
- Iranian Kurdistan
- Kurdish people
- List of modern conflicts in the Middle East
- Kurdish–Turkish conflict
- Contemporary Gulf. 1980
- Near East, North Africa report. 1994
- Benjamin Smith. Land and Rebellion: Kurdish Separatism in Comparative Perspective.P.10. "The Kurds of Iran: Opportunistic and Failed Resistance, 1918‐". 
- Elling, Rasmus Christian (2013). Minorities in Iran: Nationalism and Ethnicity after Khomeini. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9780230115842. OCLC 714725127.
- University of Arkansas. Political Science department. Iran/Kurds (1943-present). Retrieved 09 September 2012. 
- William Mark Habeeb, Rafael D. Frankel, Mina Al-Oraibi. The Middle East in Turmoil: Conflict, Revolution, and Change. ABC-CLIO publishing. P.46. 
- Itzkowitz Shifrinson, J.R. The Kurds and Regional Security: An Evaluation of Developments since the Iraq War."More indicative of the PKK’s growing power was its 2004 establishment of the Party for a Free Life in Iranian Kurdistan (PEJAK or PJAK) as a sister organization with the goal of fomenting Kurdish separatism in Iran by fostering Kurdish nationalism therein." 
- Kreyenbroek, Philip G.; Sperl, Stefan (1992). The Kurds: A Contemporary Overview. London; New York: Routledge. pp. 17–19. ISBN 9780415072656. OCLC 24247652.
- Romano, David (2006). The Kurdish Nationalist Movement: Opportunity, Mobilization and Identity. Cambridge Middle East studies, 22. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 240. ISBN 9780521850414. OCLC 61425259.
- Abrahamian, Ervand (2008). A History of Modern Iran. Cambridge, U.K.; New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 195. ISBN 9780521528917. OCLC 171111098.
- The Kurdish Warrior Tradition and the Importance of the Peshmerga. p.27-28. 
- Hicks, Neil. The human rights of Kurds in the Islamic Republic of Iran, April 2000. 
- Smith B. Land and Rebellion: Kurdish Separatism in Comparative Perspective. 
- PJAK website (in Persian, Sorani and English)
- Extract from article about Kurdish Iranian militants 28 June 2006