Translator’s note: On August 22, 2012, the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) and the Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan issued a “Memorandum of Agreement for Cooperation and Coordination.” This memorandum was written by working groups from both parties and was agreed upon by delegations headed by Abdullah Mohtadi, General Secretary of Komala and Mustafa Hijri, the General Secretary of PDKI. Translated excerpts follow.
Memorandum of Agreement for Cooperation and Coordination
Date: August 22, 2012
Translated by Frieda Afary
The liberation movement of the Kurdish people in Iranian Kurdistan, has traversed different stages of tortuous struggle over the course of many years. The following is an undeniable fact: National resistance, self-sacrifice and the martyrdom of thousands of its children for the purpose of confirming the identity and political rights of the Kurdish nation, the most important of which is the right to self-determination.
At the present time, various global changes, recent developments in the Middle East, and also a new balance of forces among the superpowers have created the basis for presenting the national demands of the Kurdish people and further emphasizing Kurdish rights on the global scale.
Stronger than ever before, the waves of change and democracy-seeking in the Middle East region are undermining the foundations of dictatorships and pushing them toward collapse. With the continuation of the mass struggles of the people and the unyielding determination of the freedom fighters, sooner or later, the dictatorship of the Islamic Republic of Iran will also face no future but increasing economic and political crises and total collapse.
During the past two or three years, after the rise and fall of the Green Movement in Iran, the Iranian opposition movement, organizations and tendencies opposed to the Islamic Republic which live in exile, have started a new round of talks and joint activities. Despite differences in perspectives and views, in some areas they have developed a reciprocal understanding and proximity and have become more accepting of the idea of unity and an effort to create a democracy-seeking front with the goal of changing the regime.
The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan and the Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan are two representative political tendencies which have engaged in joint measures and cooperation concerning some important issues during this time. In continuing this cooperative trend, they believe that under the current circumstances, coming to an agreement on a set of common principles is an undeniable necessity …
Both sides believe that democracy and the rights of Iran’s nationalities, specifically the Kurdish nation, will not be realized without overthrowing the regime of the Islamic Republic. Both sides also believe that Iran’s future political system needs to be secular, democratic and federal. Hence, it is necessary that both sides emphasize these points during their talks with the opposition in exile.
Komala and the PDKI completely believe in free elections conducted by the people of Kurdistan and undoubtedly consider the ballot box to be the most important source of legitimacy. . .
Both sides completely believe in the separation of religion from state and believe that the future government of Kurdistan and the constitution of Iran will have to be based on the principles of democracy, the United Nations Human Rights Charter and the political and national rights of Kurdistan. Freedom of religion and thought are considered the legitimate and undeniable rights of all residents of Kurdistan.
Both sides emphasize the complete equality of women and men in all political, social, economic, cultural, and family realms in society, and defend modern, progressive and humanitarian laws and will seek to promote laws accordingly.
Komala and PDKI defend freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom of political association and the freedom to establish civil rights organizations and unions for workers, women, students, youth, teachers, etc… and will legally defend them.
Both sides are committed to social justice and the protection of the environment in Kurdistan and will include these subjects in the constitution
Both sides are committed to resolving their conflicts and political issues through dialogue and in a political manner, free of any violence. They consider this method necessary for all political forces in Kurdistan and will seek to promote this principle throughout Kurdistan.
The PDKI and Komala have chosen national-geographic federalism as their main slogan and political program for resolving the question of national oppression in Kurdistan. We uphold this slogan and will engage in joint efforts to confirm and realize it.
This agreement does not undermine the principle of political, organizational, diplomatic and journalistic independence of each side but will seek to support coordination and unity of views among them along the lines of the above mentioned shared goals.
Responsibilities Prior to Political Changes and the Overthrow of the regime
Introducing the problems and demands of the Kurdish nation in Iranian Kurdistan to the international community and seeking political support for the liberation movement of the Kurdish nation. For example, organizing joint diplomatic actions on a global scale and visiting international centers to promote this goal.
…Emphasis on the slogan of federalism as the solution for the problem of Iran’s nationalities, as we intervene in the dialogues of various Iranian opposition groups and figures opposed to the Islamic Republic. Seeking to promote joint positions and progressive national dialogues in the Congress of Nations of a Federal Iran, and defending this organization and introducing it to the world public opinion…
Both sides defend the legitimate struggles of the Kurdish people in all parts of Kurdistan and at the same time believe that any interference by one part of Kurdistan in the affairs of other parts is an inappropriate and harmful policy. Along these lines, if necessary, joint meetings with the government and political forces of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq will be held, in order to strengthen relations, improve the status of the Kurdish nation in Iranian Kurdistan, and pursue a joint policy…
The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan
The Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan
First published in Iranian Progressives in Translation.