عنوان مقاله [English]
Ethnic issues and development have always been one of the most important issues in Iran regarding solidarity and national unity in the past few decades. Due to the impact of foreign developments on the Iranian ethnic groups, and its role on forming and expanding ethnic conflicts and tensions, this issue has pivotal importance. The majority of the Iranian ethnic groups live on/near the official borders and have in common a great deal of culture, language, and religion; hence, influencing and being influenced by each other. The Iranian western and northwestern Kurdish regions are no exceptions. The present study has been investigated a few historical examples of the mutual influenced Iranian Kurdish regions by the neighboring countries. The present study aims to answer this question that what are the influences of Kurdish ethnic
developments in Iraq on the Iran’s Kurdish regions? To answer this question the following hypothesis has been taken into account and investigated: “The Kurdish ethnic developments in Iraq have undeniable and increasing influence on the Iranian Kurdish regions politically, culturally, economically, and in the areas of media and communication as well, and has increased the level of Iranian Kurds’ claims.”
With a descriptive-analytical approach, the present article probes into the recent developments in the Kurdish regions of Iraq and their impacts on their Kurdish regions in Iran. It is a library research and the data have been compiled from books, articles, and the Internet.
The occupation of Iraq by the US troops in 2003 led to the downfall of Saddam Hossein and changed political system. Settling a democratic and federal system of government, identifying Kurdish as one of the official languages of Iraq, identifying Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), the active participation of the Kurds in the highest levels of the pyramid of political power in the central government such as presidency, ministry, and so on are merely some of the consequences of the developments in Iraq.
Drawing on the current international situation, the support of influential world superpowers particularly the United States, and considering the internal conditions in Iraq, and the opportunities and rights provided by the new Iraqi Constitution, the KRG did its best to institutionalize the achievements and materialize long-hoped ideals and aspirations of the Kurds in Iraq. Therefore various activities are carried out in different fields (publishing books and several journals to reconstruct and develop Kurdish language and culture, holding cultural, artistic, and literary festivals and seminars, commemorating history-making characters, holding elections and establishing democratic institutions and organizations, paying due attention to human rights, freedom of speech and the press, inclination toward pluralism, regional reconstruction, economical development, increasing interaction with international institutions, etc).
The formation of KRG led to the revival of Kurdish ethnic nationalism reinforcing Kurdish identity and culture in all Kurdish regions. The vast and various actions of the KRG has attracted the general attention of other Kurdish regions including Iran, hence the government has turned into the center and axis of Kurdish developments and discussions. These developments influence the Kurds of Iran in different ways; which include reinforcing Kurdish identity, changing the traditional slogans of the Kurdish opposition groups and parties within Iran, increasing attention of media and the public opinion to the Kurdish developments in Iraq, bringing up issues such as teaching Kurdish language, promoting Kurdish presence in the pyramid of political power at regional and national stages, freedom of Kurdish press publication, combating regional underdevelopment, and the like. Also, commemorating Kurdish legendary men of letters and personages, accepting Iranian students at the universities of Northern Iraq, inviting artists and musicians along with wide media coverage on satellite TV channels, allowing Kurdish oppositionists to pursue their activities are some other cases that the KRG is carrying out with regard to Iranian Kurds.
In spite of the fact that the Kurds in Iran have been largely influenced by the Kurdish developments in Iraq, they have always had their own specific pattern of behavior due to their own specific characteristics such as cultural and racial similarities, historical and cultural affinities with the rest of Iranians (Nowrouz, for example), identifying their Kurdish identity and customs in the Iranian Constitution (Principle 15), and the like. The recent Kurdish developments in Iraq have undoubtedly influenced the Kurds in Iran and have, consequently, increased their political, cultural, and economical demands and aspirations, but have not altered their pattern of behavior i.e. a peaceful coexistence with the rest of Iranians. Moreover, there is not a “divergence” among them the way it exists in Turkey or Iraq. Raising Kurdish demands such as having more presence in the pyramid of power at the local and national levels, paying increasing attention to the Kurdish language and culture, alleviating underdevelopment and economical poverty, and reaching the national level of development are by no means in opposition with the principles of the Iranian Constitution.
Due to their ethnic, cultural and linguistic affinities as well as a rich and common historical heritage with the rest of Iran, the Kurds in Iran have acted different from Kurds in other regions and countries, although they have been, more or less, influenced by them. The recent developments in Iraq have increased political and cultural demands in Iran but have never led to “divergence” among them. These demands require due attention and serious consideration in a framework of peaceful coexistence with the rest of Iranians. Since the majority of the Kurdish demands are in complete accordance with the Iranian Constitution, the impacts of the Kurdish developments in Iraq likely to be managed appropriately only if they are identified and understood appropriately.