Kenneth R. Timmerman
Friday, Aug. 3, 2007
Kurdish group whose fighters have clashed
frequently with government forces in Iran has sent
its top leader to Washington, D.C., to seek
assistance from the United States government.
Rahman Haj Ahmadi, president of the Kurdistan Free
Life Party (PJAK), told NewsMax in an exclusive
interview that he hoped to meet with senior
administration officials to discuss the situation
inside Iran and how the U.S. could help the
"PJAK has thousands of fighters in the mountains
of Iran and deep inside Iranian cities," he said.
"With U.S. help, we will lead the Kurdish people
in an uprising that could spread to the whole of
PJAK fighters seized government buildings in
Marivan briefly in the summer of 2005, in armed
clashes with regime security forces that spread to
major cities and towns through the Kurdish region.
The clashes were sparked by the brutal murder of a
Kurdish human rights activist.
Ahmadi and his group have been accused by the
Tehran regime of being lackeys of the U.S.
government. The July-August 2005 clashes occurred
after PJAK officials met with U.S. military
leaders in northern Iraq, Tehran alleged.
Such accusations make Ahmadi smile. "Actually,
this is the first time we have had contacts here
in Washington," he told NewsMax. "We would love to
have received U.S. help, but until now we have had
no direct contacts with the U.S. government."
"We, the 12 to 14 million Kurds in Iran, will be
the dependable and loyal allies of the USA and the
democratic world," he added.
PJAK claims that its armed resistance
fighters control the streets of major towns and
cities in northwestern Iran after the
Revolutionary Guards troops return to barracks in
the late afternoons.
Forty percent of their fighters are women, Ahmadi
claims. Women also make up 50 percent of the
group's political leadership. "We are a decidedly
modern party," he said.
"Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says he is
waiting for the badieh zaman," the legendary 12th
imam of Shia Islam whose return brings justice to
"We also believe in the badieh zaman," he
chuckled. "For us, he is George W. Bush."
Based in Europe, Ahmadi recently returned from a
three-month tour of his fighters' positions inside
He told NewsMax that his organization is
seeking to join forces with other opposition
groups, from republicans to monarchists, to forge
a common program of action to topple the regime."
"In our mountains, we can train people from all
the other groups. We can train them politically,
and militarily," he said. "They can then act in
their own name, under their own banner."
The immediate goal, he said, was to get rid of the
system of absolute clerical rule, known as
velayat-e faghih. "We want Iran to become a
secular democratic republic," he said.
"In the longer term, we would like to see Iran
become a confederation, where the rights of all
ethnic groups will be guaranteed within a single,
He specifically rejected charges that his group
was "separatist," or that it favored in any way
the break-up of Iran.
But Ahmadi also warned that when Iran's ethnic
minorities launch their uprising, the temptation
by some groups to establish ethnically-pure
autonomous areas would be great.
"We must avoid ethnic cleansing at all costs," he
Iran's 70 million population is ethnically
diverse, and includes millions of Azeris, Kurds,
Balouch, Ahwazi Arabs, Turkomans, and others.
Approximately 35 percent of the population is
But over the centuries, Iran's various populations
have moved around, intermarried and intermingled.
Iran's Kurdish areas, for example, are home to
hundreds of thousands of ethnic Azeris. Roughly 1
million Kurds live in Tehran.
This complex ethnic mosaic makes internal borders,
or a Yugoslav-style partition of the country into
separate ethnic states both "unrealistic" and
"undesirable," Ahmadi said.
Instead, PJAC favors a loosely structured
confederation along the lines of Belgium or
Switzerland. "But of course, all of that is long
in the future. It will take fifty years of
negotiations!" he said.
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