Iran is facing serious challenges from the ongoing unrest. A senior Iranian academic said that Iran’s government blames Kurdish separatists.
Protests calling for the overthrow Iran’s clerical rulers have now entered their fourth month. They began after the death Mahsa, who was held in the custody of the morality cop.
According to an official, the force that enforced Iran’s dress code has been disbanded.
According to activist HRANA news agency, Miss Amini is of Kurdish Iranian descent and is being held high as a rallying cry. However, the regime’s brutal crackdown on protestors has resulted in the deaths of more then 470 people.
The government is now facing the most serious threat to its rule in decades. It has accused foreign countries of inciting the protests.
The regime also blamed its Kurdish population, which is mainly concentrated close to the border with Iraq.
A hardline Iranian security officer told Reuters that the Kurdish opposition groups use Amini’s case to achieve their decades-old goal of separating Kurdistan and Iran. But they won’t succeed.”
Iranian state media have referred to the nationwide protests as a “political plot” by Kurdish separatist groups, especially the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran, in the meantime.
Miss Amini hails from Saqqez in Kurdistan, which was the first to witness the protests after her death in September.
Yassamine Mather, an Iranian academic, says that “for the government it’s helpful to say this is Kurdish separatists.”
Sky News spoke to her: “But, the demonstrations that I’ve seen online and the slogans that i read don’t point towards that.”
“On the contrary, they seem to emphasize their part in larger Iran. Like they call on people from Baluchestan in Tehran to support them.
“If you want separation, you won’t do it.”
The Oxford University scholar said that protesters view themselves as part of a larger Iran protest.
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“The whole of Iran rose up”
Samira, 42 years old, is a mother to two teenage boys. She lives in Sanandaj, the capital of Kurdistan in northwestern Iran.
Sky News spoke to her about her Kurdish heritage and Sunni Muslim roots, which means that her people have suffered oppression for many decades.
She said, “We as Kurds want human rights and have zero interest in separating Kurdistan Iran – contrary to what the government promotes.”
“It is only natural that voices for federalism or separation grow as they continue to violate our rights.
She said, “But the fact of a Kurdish girl being killed, but the whole Iran rose up, shows us that we as Iranians, from any background, or tribes, are not separate and support one another.”
Dr. Arshin Adib Moghaddam, a London professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies, stated that the protests “certainly are not primarily sectarian and involve all strata of Iranian society.”
Sky News was informed by him that Iran’s core culture is a shared history, an ancient culture and rituals.
“Conversely, Iran’s state tries to rally a weary populace around an ideology that rejects that ingrained diversity.”
Dr Adib-Moghaddam (author of What is Iran?) said: “The Iranian government is prudent enough to not sectarianize this conflict and probably realistic enough enough to understand that the protests address Iran’s recent unwillingness to reform and, therefore, also the idea for the Islamic Republic.”
Kurdish opposition groups located across the border in northern Iraq were also accused by the Iranian government of inciting protests and smuggling arms into the country.
These claims have been denied by the Kurdish groups. The authorities have not provided any evidence.
However, an Iranian military officer visiting Baghdad last month threatened to launch a ground operation against Iraq if the country’s shared border is not strengthened against Kurdish rebel groups.
Khelil Nadri, a spokesperson for the Kurdistan Freedom party (PAK), told the Financial Times that “we’re being used to scapegoat.”