Friday, June 16, 2006
The Jamestown Foundation has just published a piece by James Brandon on the PJAK militia in Iran. PJAK is a Kurdish militant group which seems to operate as a defensive force designed to protect Kurdish political leaders from Iranian crackdowns rather than as a guerrilla movement fighting directly for independence. Brandon links the group's increasing activity to growing Kurdish nationalism inside Iran. One obvious factor that could be causing this increased nationalism is the growth in Kurdish influence in Iraq. However, as I noted during the Azeri protests last month, one shouldn't discount that the resurgent Persian nationalism we've heard about isn't causing a backlash among all non-Persians inside the country, one potentially more dangerous for the regime as a potential tool for foreign governments interested in bring it down than pro-democracy college students.