Al Monitor | Fazel Hawramy: Hoping that the United States is serious about directly confronting the Islamic Republic, Iranian Kurdish opposition groups are maneuvering to become an essential part of a new White House policy of weakening and ultimately overthrowing the government in Tehran.
Mustafa Hijri, the head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI), visited Washington June 11-17 to discuss the situation in Iran with State Department officials, congressmen and think tank experts. While it is not uncommon for Iranian opposition figures to meet with US officials and speak at forums in Washington, the sheer number of meetings at various think tanks signals renewed US interest with Kurdish rebel groups that are fighting the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in the mountains of the Kurdish region in western Iran.
Moreover, Al-Monitor has learned that while he has previously met with officials from the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, the KDPI leader this time saw the head of the Iran section at the State Department. In this vein, Fouad Beygizadeh, the KDPI representative in Sulaimaniyah, Iraqi Kurdistan, told Al-Monitor that he is unaware of any secret meetings or further details about the congressmen reported to have met with Hijri.
“Unlike previous meetings in which mostly human rights issues were discussed, the latest meetings were about some important political matters that affect Iran and the role of the KDPI. … The American officials wanted to understand the demands of the Kurdish people,” a statement on the KDPI’s official website said, referring to Hijri’s visit to the US State Department on June 15.