Imam Khamenei

Imam Khamenei's anecdote of Sunni Kurds’ impressive sacrifices for Iran


Just as you mentioned, there was no shortage of brave and sincere brothers in the region inhabited by Kurds: there were devout, sincere brothers in all across areas resided by Kurds, who truly devoted themselves to the revolution. The prominent models among them were the young Kurds who organized the Muslim Kurd group of Peshmerga, took up arms and joined the war fronts. They risked not only their own lives, but also the lives of their families. This is very significant, because in other cities—in Isfahan, Tehran, Yazd, Mashhad, or Tabriz—if a family's son went to war fronts and was martyred, everyone would show respect and admiration to them; no one dared—no one actually wanted to—threaten them. However, in Kurdistan, the situation was different: some of the families whose sons fought or were martyred [in the war fronts] were threatened by anti-revolutionary groups. I remember—I know the group well, I have visited the region and they have come to see us several times—the young individuals from the Muslim Kurdish Peshmerga who valiantly joined the war fronts, risked their lives and the peace of their families. They knew [what hardship awaited them], yet they fought: this is very significant. They successfully passed great trials.

Since day one, when the enemy focused on regions with Kurd populace for the two reasons of ethnicity and religious denomination, they were hopeful they could infiltrate into this area. They adopted one strategy in Baluchistan, another in Torkaman-Sahra, and a different strategy in Kurdistan. We got access to the abundant documents and dossiers related to the Kurdistan region, which were stored in secret intelligence centers of the Pahlavi regime. And so, we realized what their policies in this area were and what they did there. They looked forward to employ these policies after the victory of the Islamic revolution to turn the Kurdistan region into a vulnerable and deleterious point against the revolution; this was what they pursued. 

They chanted different slogans; some of them chanted leftist slogans; others even chanted Islamic slogans. In the region of Kurdistan, among the anti-revolutionary groups that opposed the formation of an Islamic system, there were individuals who would even refer to Quranic verses—we all remember; those who were involved in the matter can remember—but they were in fact working for the anti-revolution front, the US, and the Zionist Regime. They did their best and tried hard to make that region insecure. As a result, the region became insecure. It is true that our youth from different regions went to Kurdistan; but if the Kurdish people did not love the revolution, could the young soldiers carry out any measures? Of course, not. If those drafted to the region were ten times more, the Kurdish people did not support them wholeheartedly, they could not be successful. The Kurdish people and many of the Kurdish scholars supported the revolution wholeheartedly. The anti-revolution martyred some of the Kurdish scholars; the last case being the late Sheikhul-Islam, which was martyred a few years ago. This pure and innocent man was martyred. So the achievements in that area owe to the Kurdish brothers.

I have many memories. Mr. Mollaghader referred to the event of Paveh. I remember our first trip to the area after the events unfolding in Paveh; it was cold, and we went to the upper level neighborhood to see the young men there, and we went to their mosque. Indeed, the people of that region were under pressure in their own homes, and despite this, they fought for the revolution, worked hard and strived; it was truly the case. Thanks be to God, it was effective. Today the situation in that area is similar to those days. What is important is to know that the enemy won't stop working. We should not think that the enemy will stand by idly: the enemy will continue animosity as long as they can. They will plot and take measures against us.

They also have the money, their intelligence services are massive, so are their propaganda facilities, and they work hard. We should be aware! We need to be vigilant! As I mentioned, the Shia-Sunni issues are important. They have focused on the issue of Shia and Sunni: they have tried to provoke fanaticism on both sides—that is to fuel the fire of fanaticism on both the Shia side and the Sunni side. And well, there are always people who, due to their ignorance, get manipulated by these matters. The considerate and sympathetic people should be vigilant not to be fall for such deceptions. The truth is that the one who, claiming to support Sunnism, attacks Shiism and has extreme animosity towards the Shias, has in fact, no genuine faith in Sunnism or Islam. The same is true for Shias: there are people who provoke fanaticism among Shias against the Sunnis, whereas, in reality, they have no religious motivations. Who do they actually use? 

The common people who do not carefully consider all aspects of the matter. Though they are interested in religion, they have not developed the necessary wisdom, meticulousness and reasoning to realize what the enemy is looking forward to. They [the enemy] provoke the people on both sides; we should all be vigilant not to allow their conspiracies to work out.

I have been saying this since a long time ago that the British are very experienced in this matter. They are more experienced than the Americans; they have more experience in sowing discord among Sunnis and Shias; they know very well what to do in order to pit the followers of the two religious denominations against each other. Sometimes, they talk as if they support the Sunnis. You have watched that, [for instance] the United States Congress enacted a law to support the Iraqi Arab Sunnis! Do they genuinely like the Sunnis?

They are against anything that is associated with Islam; to them, Sunnis or Shias do not matter: we should heed this point. So, the matter of religion is one issue. Fortunately, the enemies cannot manipulate the Kurdish as agents to realize their goals. Even though they easily use the Kurdish agents in other countries, they cannot take manipulate the Kurds of Iran. However, they still follow up their propaganda: they embark on the religious differences. Ethnicity is one factor. Pretexts must be taken away from them.

Statements during a meeting with members of the Congress on Commemorating the Muslim Peshmerga martyrs, May 4, 2015





  • Iran
  • Kurds
  • Sunnis