IRANIAN KURDISH PARTY PDKI

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Salah Sharafi, a leading member of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (KDPI) and Hussam Heydari, a local Swedish member, met with the Charge and underscored the importance of the KDPI chapter in Sweden.
VZCZCXRO6603
OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHKUK
DE RUEHSM #0585/01 2351235
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 221235Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3698
INFO RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 STOCKHOLM 000585

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/21/2018

TAGS: PTER KDEM PREL PINR SW IR

SUBJECT: IRANIAN KURDISH PARTY OUTLINES GOI SUPPORT FOR

ANSAR AL-ISLAM

Classified By: Charge d’Affaires Robert Silverman for reasons 1.4(b)and

(d)

 1. (C) SUMMARY: Salah Sharafi, a leading member of the

Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (KDPI) and Hussam

Heydari, a local Swedish member, met with the Charge on

August 13 and underscored the importance of the KDPI chapter

in Sweden. The KDPI Sweden chapter is the largest in Europe,

with 4,000 members, as well as youth and women’s branches,

two newspapers, and a radio station. During the meeting

Sharafi outlined Iranian government support for Ansar

al-Islam. He blamed the Iranian government for the

kidnappings and killings of KDPI members in Iraq and the

arrest of nine Kurdish journalists in Iran, most recently the

week of August 3rd. As Post develops further contacts with

KDPI, we might consider requesting a small grant for the

group based on its activities in Sweden.

 

2. (C) KDPI LEADER IN SWEDEN TO MEET WITH LOCAL MEMBERS: On

August 13, Salah Sharafi, advisor to his brother Hassan

Sharafi who is the Deputy Secretary General for KDPI and

Hussam Heydari, a Swedish KDPI member and President of the

local Kurdish Union Association, met with the Charge.

Sharafi highlighted KDPI’s strong democratic principles and

its desire to maintain positive relations with the United

States. Sharafi stated KDPI was interested in receiving a

U.S. government message that could be read at the upcoming

KDPI 14th Congress in Koya, Iraq in September. Charge said

he would pass the message to Washington.

3. (C) KDPI ACTIVITIES IN SWEDEN: Sharafi was visiting

Sweden on the anniversary of the creation of the KDPI party

in recognition of the significant KDPI presence in Sweden.

Heydari reported that there are 4,000 members of KDPI located

in Sweden ) making it the largest chapter in Europe. He

said the Swedish KDPI party has special sections for women

and youth groups, and that the organization also encourages

its members to become active in mainstream Swedish parties.

Heydari said the Swedish chapter utilizes the KDPI television

station based in Paris )- called TISHK (or “sunshine” in

Kurdish) — and that the station reaches all over Europe and

into Iran. Heydari said the station transmits two hours in

Persian, two hours in Kurdish, and one hour in Arabic every

day. Heydari said there are also two KDPI newspapers based

out of Gothenburg, Sweden and a radio station. Heydari

invited Post to attend a large Kurdish celebration in

Vasteros in September 2008.

4. (C) IRANIAN GOVERNMENT SUPPORT FOR ANSAR AL-ISLAM AND

OTHER TERRORIST GROUPS:   Sharafi said that KDPI is

constantly under threat from the Iranian government,

specifically blaming the death and kidnapping of

approximately 150 KDPI members from within Iraq on terrorist

groups supported by the Iranian government. He said that

Ansar al-Islam (AI) carried out many of these operations, and

that the latest disappearance had occurred two months ago in

the Qandil mountain region. Asked if the Iranian government

was providing support to groups such as AI, Sharafi responded

affirmatively. He said there were special mosques in the

Mahabad area of Iran that are supported by the Iranian

government and that serve as special training centers for

groups such as AI. Sharafi added that AI members who are

wounded during operations are taken to special Iranian

government-funded hospitals. He said that groups protecting

Iranian interests in Iraq, such as AI, Jundallah, and others,

are often funded through the Iranian Quds Force and

frequently prepared for operations in Basra and Diyala

provinces.

5. (C) JOURNALISTS ARRESTED IN IRAN FOR REPORTING ON U.S.

SANCTIONS: Sharafi said a number of Iranian journalists are

reporting that U.S. and European sanctions against Iran are

increasing prices and creating shortages of basic resources

like eggs, meat and rice. He also said the Iranian

government has arrested nine KDPI-associated journalists in

Iran over the past two years for writing on the negative

effects of the sanctions. He reported that the latest

arrest, of Mahsoud Kandipoor, came on August 3, 2008.

Sharafi asserted that the Iranian government is using

people’s fear of increasing economic uncertainty to encourage

individuals to join militant groups such as the Basij ) if

they join, they and their families are rewarded with

financial rewards. Sharafi said support for the government

of Iran was extremely poor in Kurdish areas of Iran and that

KDPI had even shut down the city of Mahabad on July 13, 2008

in a strike honoring the assassination of Dr. A. R.

Ghassemlou in Vienna (a former leader of KDPI) by

Iranian-backed assassins. Sharafi said that in addition to

the arrest of journalists and other harassment, some

universities in Iran were refusing to allow KDPI student

members to attend their final exams.

STOCKHOLM 00000585 002 OF 002

6. (C) BIOGRAPHY: Heydari, Hussam: President of the

Kurdish Union Association in Sweden. The Kurdish Union

Association is an entity associated with KDPI. Heydari has a

Masters in Diplomatic Studies and International Law, and

speaks English fluently. Heydari has two sisters involved in

KDPI and in mainstream Swedish politics, one a mayor

representing the Social Democratic Party and the other a

Liberal Party council member. Heydari reported that his

grandfather was a Sheikh of the Nakhshabandi Sufi sect and

that he held a senior position in the Republic of Mahabad.

Heydari reported that family member graves were desecrated by

special groups supported by the Iranian government.

SILVERMAN

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