The challenge of the presence of militant and paramilitary groups inside and along Iran’s borders

The Minister of Interior of Turkey has claimed that currently mountainous areas around Mako in Iran, next to Qandil Mountain, are important safe zones for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its military wing, the so-called People’s Defense Forces (HPG).

what Turkey’s goals are for raising this issue is not up for debate, although in recent years, Turkey has benefited the most from the PKK and its Syrian branch as a driving tool and an excuse for its expansionism. And there is a military establishment in Syria and Iraq under the same pretext as well. However, regardless of the political issues and the goals of the surrounding countries, what has created mental concerns for human rights activists is the continuation of the radicalized and militarized atmosphere in the border and Kurdish regions of Iran. This security environment during the past years has caused lower balanced development in these areas.

Unemployment, poverty, insecurity and many social harms and cultural challenge, in addition to the lack of attention of the governments and the peripheral view of these areas by private sector activists, have also been accompanied by indifference. The political challenges of the Kurdish parties are not just in the Islamic Republic, but this challenge also existed during the Pahlavi era, therefore, it seems that there should be a new and different look at the issues related to border and Kurdish areas. Unfortunately, the governments have not taken serious care to solve these challenges and worse than that, the civil society is also extremely conservative and politicize, and these two have caused eliminating the problem instead of solving.

The establishment of militant and paramilitary groups in Iran’s border areas with Turkey and the Kurdistan Region has practically disrupted the development path in these areas and has caused serious damage to people. What can be seen from the performance of the government is a kind of indifference and lack of serious determination, at least to fulfill the citizenship rights of these people. Although development requires actions and serious steps of elites and civil institutions, that unfortunately has been sidelined due to the intensity of the politicized atmosphere.

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