Rahman Piroti

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Rahman Piroti
ڕەحمان پیرۆتی
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Born(1952-04-06)April 6, 1952
Piranshahr County, Kurdistan
DiedSeptember 8, 2018(2018-09-08) (aged 66)
Koy Sanjaq
Cause of death2018 Iraqi Kurdistan missile strike
Resting placeDemocrat's Martyrs Cemetery
Other namesMirza Rahman
Political partyKurdistan Democratic Party (Iran)
Spouse(s)Halima Ahmad
ChildrenRahim, Arezou, Fayegh, Nasir, and Mansour
Parent(s)Faqe Rasoul Piroti

Rahman Piroti (Kurdish: ڕەحمان پیرۆتی / Rehman Pîrotî , Persian: رحمان پیروتی, April 6th 1952 - September 8th 2018 ) was a Kurdish politician who campaigned and worked towards the promotion and implementation of Iranian Kurdistan political freedoms following by the expansion of personal civil liberties and rights that a person is entitled to receive naturally by being a citizen of particular nation. He was an advocate for Kurdish national identity (Kurdayetî), independent state, political and civil rights for the Kurds, and democracy in Iran for more than 40 years. Rahman Piroti who is also known as Mirza Rahman served as Peshmarga, commander of Peshmerga corps, member of the leadership committee of Kurdistan Democratic Party (Iran), author and analyst. Apart from his native Kurdish, he was fluent in Persian, and Azari. [1]


Rahman Piroti was born on April 6th, 1952 in Lajan, a district of Piranshahr County, east of Kurdistan. The son of Faqe Rasoul, head of a middle-class family with prestigious and patriotic features. Lajan has been home to the Faqe Rasoul’s family since ever. The family lifestyle was simple with sources of income mainly from farming and animal husbandry. Among Faqe Rasoul's children, Rahman was excessively fond of school and education. He attended elementary and secondary school in the villages of Lajan and then pursued his education in Piranshahr where he obtained his qualifications with notable success. Poverty deprived him of going to university and continuing his education. Then he attended mandatory military services and spent nearly two years in the Ajabshir and Shapour Garrisons in Salmas. After completing his military career, Rahman returned to his hometown and worked with his family for a better subsistence. Young Rahman was witnessing deprivation, classism, lack of basic human rights, and Kurdish national oppression in around himself. He could not remain indifferent to such occurrences. There he became involved in Kurdish nationalist politics, aiding the Iraqi KDP leaders and Peshmerga forces who were refugeed to Iran, east of Kurdistan, and mainly were settled in the Lajan villages upon the 1975 Algiers Agreement. Witnessing the refugee people of Iraqi Kurdistan imposed on Rahman the struggle for human and national rights of the Kurds. From now on he found himself strongly ingratiate with the Ba'athist regime in Iraq. His burgeoning resentment of the Ba'athist regime began here so that he never went beyond the areas ruled by the Ba'athist regime.

Early life

Rahman Piroti joined the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan in 1978 while he was a prominent figure among the revolutionaries against the Shah’s regime. Piroti soon rose to prominence among the party's Peshmergas, was prompted to Piranshahr city committee, and played a pivotal role in the victorious four-year Peshmarga campaign that resisted the army and IRGCs of the Islamic republic regime. He served as deputy commander of Aware corps in Piranshahr, commander of Simko, commander of Bayan’110, and Hawshar corps in the Piranshahr, Shino, Bokan, and Takab cities by order. The corps who Rahman Piroti commanded, under provisions of the party's military council, was played a significant role in defending the civil people against the new Iranian regime's reactionary army and its dependent’s militia. In the spring of 1980, a small team of Peshmerga headed by Rahman Piroti stood against a huge mechanized military Battalion supported by air forces in Qassemlou’s valley. Mechanized battalion completely destroyed while no Peshmergas even heavily injured. This symbolic resistance was widely reflected in the Iranian and Kurdish newspapers of the time. The military struggle was catastrophic, and many people were being killed on both sides. His experiences and studying new methods of civil struggle led him to posit that the rights of the Kurds in Iran cannot be gained armed struggle. Indeed, there was a growing tendency to give more importance to peaceful and political solutions rather than military ones. This approach was seeking to give the new regime a chance to peacefully secure the basic rights of the Kurds. The discussions over the strategy of the party were extremely hot during its first congress since the 1979 revolution. One side emphasizing armed defense hopefully to get prominence on the political negotiations. The other side was campaigning for the in-progress civil movement toward the realization and legalization of national rights. Piroti wrote his political views following by criticisms to the party management, in a comprehensive article which was published in a countrywide newspaper. He called for more democratic leadership and emphasized independence acting, political pluralism, and welcoming constructive criticism. The discussions were poorly managed on both sides till came to the party split finally. The party branched-off to the PDKI and the "PDKI-followers of the 4th congress". Both had an enormous influencer supporter. He allied himself Intellectually with “Followers of the 4th congress” but resigned from the party one year after the split. Followers of the 4th congress of PDKI were suffered from a lack of long-term strategy. Leadership committee political views were mainly dependent on visions of the Tudeh Party of Iran, while less senior activists of the party were advocating nationalism with the aim of gaining and maintaining the nation's sovereignty over its homeland through non-armed campaigns. Upon initial systemization of themselves, the main figures of the new party traveled to abroad. This approach destroyed the new party, although remnant Peshmerga forces persisted and continued their struggle in the Kurdistan mountains, after a few years, their strength was gradually reduced due to both political and logistical reasons. Rahman Piroti was not agreeing with the dependent visions of the party. In his view, the Tudeh Party was approaching a democratic constitution with a pro-soviet agenda, and they had included a part of the national rights of the Kurds in Iran because not they are believing in, but to pretending democracy and widening coverage. He was seeking an independent approach from leftists, rightists, and local's agendas to achieve the basic rights of the Kurds and stay in the country’s political loop to struggle for the rest. As a result, a great number of party members left the country into Europe or rejoined the PDKI. Piroti took a third path and return back to the inside Iran and his hometown. He was arrested in 1984 by the Iranian intelligence service (which came to be known as the Etelaat) on the charge of involvement in the Kurdish national movement, membership of PDKI, and commanding armed conflicts against the regime. He spent a few months in detention in a Special Investigation Commission in Urmia city where he was tortured and was offered big bribes but persisted on his political views. [2]

Struggle for National rights and freedoms

Rahman Piroti remained politically active, but in a less sensitive mode to protect his person, counterparts, and agendas from the regime’s attack. Soon he rebuilt his own personal links with social personalities and political influencers. In a short time, he became a node in a cooperative humanitarian network. The aim of such a network was harmonizing the efforts to preventing further human rights abuses and improving Kurdish rights in Iranian Kurdistan. He often traveling to different places in the country to chat with different persons with different opinions and viewpoints. In such an approach, every person could have an enormous impact on different aspects. He was among those pioneer politicians in that time who came to realize the importance of the Iranian parliament. On one side, the parliament could be a place to strengthening the Kurdish problem by specifying constitutional rights and addressing frequent rights abuses of Kurds in Iran. On the other side, it can potentially raise awareness among the Kurdish community of their rights. Being familiarized with structures and contexts of the country's law may also help them to choose the right representatives in the parliament and in town councils as well. This was the logic of working with Kurdish members of parliament. Rahman Piroti was closely linked with former MP Bahaedin Adab and other reformist MPs. At that time, they could successfully lobby in the parliament for the Kurdish problem. Rahman Piroti also engaged the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan in these efforts. Abdulla Hasan Zadeh, former secretary-general of PDKI, in an interview, declared that Rahman Piroti was the most prominent link between activists both inside and outside the country for years. He also added that Piroti was on strategic and beneficial projects to strengthening the Kurdish problem in Iran. The subsequences were partially optimistic. Human rights violations, including but not limited to, murdering the smugglers, extrajudicial execution, illegal detention of political and civil activists, restrictions of the press, and lack of national rights were frequently addressed in the Parliamentary working meetings. Rahman Piroti was not only focused on political matters of the Kurds in Iran. He was skilled at sounding out public opinion about his point of view. By this, he was looking for community engagement to encourage mother tongue education, reinforcing nonviolent resistance, and empowering cultural activities. He was always saying that “we’re a progressive community with forward-thinking ideas about the world we live in”.

Returning to the Party

Rahman Piroti on behalf of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan was on top of strategic projects inside Iran. The party is banned in Iran and it’s not able to operate openly, thus its members are frequent victims of Iranian intelligence service and IRGC agencies. Many party members have been summoned, arrested, detained, imprisoned, and executed. He was maintaining himself by performing his normal functions within the society along with his clandestine underground activities. However, he was always under the supervision of the intelligence and security forces. He had been arrested repeatedly in Iran between 1983 and 2005 for strengthening civil movements, encouraging Kurdish nationalism, and being the opposition of Islamic republic politics, that he had been imprisoned in short-periods and placed under house arrest from time to time. The last months before leaving the country, he was on giving clarification to the political and civil activists on the Kurdish movement perspective and the PDKI visions. At that time the party was on the split. There were two main lines who were disagreed with the abuse of authorities and management methods. Once they couldn’t come to a compromise, the party was split into two parts of PDKI and KDP which caused serious damage to the party’s organization, especially inside Iran. He was traveling to different places inside and outside the country including Koya, in Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region 60 km north of KRI's capital, Erbil where PDKI (later on splitter party name was changed to KDP-Iran) Headquarters is located, to hear different opinions and perspectives. He sacrificed his security and endangered himself to help to find a solution for the party's issues rather than split. some years later, he declared that at those both line’s leaders were thinking about dissolving another side, hence they never heard the strong voice of unity coming from inside activists. Such efforts were happening while IRGC and Iranian security forces were oversight the situation with more curiosity. What made the security situation even worse was organizational incoherence and loosen framework among members and activists of the party everywhere. He realized that the Iranian intelligence service has collected pieces of evidence to arrest him. Facing such threats had been a permanent norm of life for him and his family after revolution 1979, but this time he was concerned foremost about the political links who he was managing. The links had not easily created, and any probable threat could cause debilitating long-term damage to them. So, he left the country and settled in Irbil. After several months, he joined the Kurdistan Democratic Party. He was nominated by the party as a candidate for the 14th congress, which then he was elected to the leadership committee. In congress 15 and 16 of the party, he was re-elected to the leadership committee as well.

Death and afterward

On 8 September 2018, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) launched seven Fateh-110 missiles at the headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP-Iran) and PDKI, in the town of Koya. The attack martyred 16 and wounded 50 more. Rahman Piroti was among martyrs. The party’s politburo statement remembered Rahman Piroti as “a loyal citizen, valuable political activist, faithful party member, and Thoughtful leader”.[3] The missile attack targeted the plenum of the central committee of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, where leadership members were discussing peacebuilding approaches and political solutions to the Kurdish problem in Iran. Kurdish parties and Kurdish activists in Iran called for shop owners to strike in protest of the Iranian government’s actions. Four days later, on 12 September, people in Iranian Kurdistan conducted a peaceful general strike to show the brutal Islamic Republic of Iran and its linked IRGC militia that they won’t accept military attacks against the political parties and executions of political activists. Some demonstrations were also held in Europe and the USA. [4]

Philosophical and/or political views

Rahman Piroti was pursuing non-violent, peaceful and political solutions to the Kurdish problem in Iran. During the years he has lobbied among the political leadership of Iranian Kurdistan Rojhelat parties and Iranian politicians to prevent and end conflicts. Although he was never against the legitimate right of self-defense for Kurds as a nation and encouraging people to use reasonable force or defensive force against the Islamic Republic aggressive brutal corps for the purpose of defending their's own life or the lives of others, including –in certain circumstances– the use of deadly force according to the international laws; his efforts mainly were focused on putting an end to Iranian prolonged human suffering in general and Kurdish people specifically. This approach was targeting community engagement through civil activities to make as much as pressure possible on government for taking into consideration political solutions, and investment in inclusive approach for Kurdish rights abuses. In his beliefs, theories of civil resistance could be applied to stand-up against the Iranian regime to dampen the flames of Kurdish nationalism. He was always saying that we would stay on the right side of history with civil activities and non-violent community movement toward its own's national rights and freedoms.

Published works

Rahman Piroti was a hard work author. During the years he has produced his own written works including books, newspaper articles, and in-depth political analysis. The following is a short list of them:

  • Pragmatist Revolutionary (Kurdish: خەباتگێڕێکی پڕاگماتیست)
  • New Tishk political magazine (Kurdish: تیشکی نوێ)

Further reading

  • The Messages Behind the Iranian Missile Strike in Iraqi Kurdistan [5]
  • ‘Continuous war’ is the message of the Iranian missile strike [6]
  • Report on Iranian Kurds [7]


  1. ژیاننامە,شەهید ڕەحمان پیرۆتی (July 17, 2020)[1] کاروانی نەمرانی حیزبی دێموکراتی کوردستان
  2. , یادنامە,شەهید میرزا ڕەحمان پیرۆتی (February 22, 2020), [2], Page 27, خەباتگێڕێکی پڕاگماتیست
  3. https://pmnews.se/?p=42307
  4. https://www.rudaw.net/sorani/kurdistan/090920189?keyword=&isArchive=True
  5. https://besacenter.org/perspectives-papers/iran-missile-strike-kurdistan/
  6. https://www.jpost.com/opinion/continuous-war-is-the-message-of-the-iranian-missile-strike-571935
  7. https://www.nyidanmark.dk/-/media/Files/US/Landerapporter/Report-on-Iranian-Kurds-Feb-2020.pdf?la=da&hash=5AB05DB52B466D20C4742986B52541D9C66C6EA4

External links

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