Kurdistan (Iran) Conflict

Kurdistan (Iran) Conflict

The Kurdish separatism in Iran, or the Kurdish–Iranian conflict is an ongoing, long running, separatist dispute between the Kurdish opposition in Western Iran and the governments of Iran, lasting since the emergence of Pahlavi Reza Shah in 1918. Some put the starting point of the organized Kurdish separatism to 1943, when KDPI and Komala began their political activities in Iran, aiming to gain self-rule in Kurdish regions.

The revolts caused great destruction to the Iranian Kurdistan and its people, failing however to gain any success in the separatist struggle for Kurdish autonomy. The separatist attempts were often finilized with a bloody outcome. Several thousands, including many Assyrian civilians, died in the Simko Shikak revolt between 1918 and 1922 (the conflict of Simko with Iran emerged in 1920). Simko’s second rebellion was defeated by central government in 1926, while another Kurdish tribal revolt was put down in 1931.

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, which attempted to establish an autonomous Kurdish state in Western Iran. More than a decade later, in violent tribal uprisings, launched with KDPI support through the 1960s, Kurdish regions suffered a major blow. A Kurdish rebellion was also put down in 1966-1967.

In the most violent episode of the conflict, more than 30,000 Kurds died starting with the 1979 rebellion until the end of KDPI insurgency of 1990s. Violent struggle in the Kurdish region 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.