1979 Newspapers Addressing the Kurdish Issue

bkyser on Mar 18th 2012

I stumbled upon this website while conducting research for my Human Rights and Islam class. It is a collection of newspaper articles from Iranian newspapers released in 1979 addressing the issue of Kurdistan. In one of the articles, Ayatollah Khomeini’s orders to kill the Kurds are explicitly stated. Khomeini named Mr. Hojjat-o-Islam Kermani as his envoy to Kurdistan, and talked about the Kurds by saying, “they must be crushed.” The possibility of a ceasefire is also talked about in this specific article due to the talks that were taken place at the time in Tehran between the new government and the Kurds. The Kurds agreed to lay their weapons down if the Islamic government halted advances on Kurdish territory. Newspapers also began circulating pictures of Kurds standing in front of Islamic gunmen in Iran.

This newspaper article discusses how one of the reasons for the executions and capturing of Kurdish towns from the Islamic government was due to the fact that Ayatollah Khomeini saw them as being communist. He is quoted as saying, “We are not facing a Kurdish question, but a Communist one” in describing the events taking place in Kurdistan. Some of the reasons behind this mentality stemmed from the fact that many Kurds had Russian-made rifles and were reported to have connections with Russia.

Another article, although not specific to the Kurdish issue, discusses the decision of newly formed Islamic government to invest authority in Ayatollah Khomeini, following Article 5 of their new constitution. This article gives the Supreme Leader absolute religious authority and “uncontested support in dealing with state matters.”

The articles listed at the end are all in Farsi.

Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, “1979 Articles about Iranian Kurdistan,” Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, http://www.iranhrdc.org/english/human-rights-documents/3507-1979-newspapers.html (accessed March 18, 2012).

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