The demands of the protesters for regime change are a clear manifestation of the deep frustration and the loss of hope for reform among the Iranian public and seem to signal that the time is ripe for comprehensive change.
With a new deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program on the horizon years after the United States left the original Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Western relations with—and concessions to—Iran are currently on the agenda. Text for a prospective agreement has recently been put forward in Vienna. The United States has offered its response, and the ball is now seemingly in Iran’s court.
In such a climate, the situation of Iran’s Kurdish minority does not appear immediately relevant. But Western governments cannot afford to sideline the issue in the long term. Understanding the tactics that Iran uses to crack down on Kurds—from economic exploitation to transnational repression to the use of militias—will give governments a better picture of how the Iranian state expands its influence and targets those who oppose its rule and will allow them to counter these practices in a manner that promotes stability, good governance and human rights.
Zunächst gingen Frauen und Studentinnen auf die Straße, jetzt dehnen sich die Proteste im Iran aus. Über die langfristigen Auswirkungen unterhält sich Ursula Weidenfeld im Podcast-Gespräch mit Dastan Jasim, die zu kurdischen Fragen im Nahen Osten forscht und sich auch für Menschenrechte einsetzt.