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Chronology for Kurds in Iran

Publisher Minorities at Risk Project
Publication Date 2004
Cite as Minorities at Risk Project, Chronology for Kurds in Iran, 2004, available at: [accessed 20 May 2023]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.
Date(s) Item
Feb 1990 Thousands of Kurds demonstrate in seven Iranian towns and more than 500 are arrested. These protests are said to be due to the execution of 17 Kurdish activists.
Apr 1 - Aug 31, 1990 Iranian Kurdish rebels mount numerous attacks against government forces. Over 300 Iranian soldiers are killed and over 150 are captured.
Apr 24, 1990 A prominent Iranian Kurdish nationalist is assassinated near Geneva by what is believed to be Iranian security forces.
Jul 28, 1990 The Kurdish opposition frees 152 POWs as a humanitarian gesture.
Nov 20, 1990 Iranian security arrests a Kurdish guerilla accused of killing two revolutionary guards last summer.
1991 The KDPI accuses Iran of numerous human rights violations.
Jan 14, 1991 Iran executes seven Kurdish guerrillas, all members of the KDPI, for spying, murder and armed activities.
Mar 1991 Iranian forces cross over into Iraq and attack Iranian rebel forces, including Kurdish forces.
Mar 1 - Apr 30, 1991 1.3 million Iraqi refugees, most of them Kurds, arrive in Iran in the aftermath of the Gulf War and Iraq's attacks upon its Kurdish population. Most of them return to Iraq by the end of the year.
Jun 1 - Jul 31, 1991 Iranian Kurdish guerrillas mount attacks against the Iranian Army.
Aug 12, 1991 Iranian Kurdish rebels kill five Iranian surveyors near the Turkish border. KDPI guerrillas also set fire to an exhibition of industrial machinery and briefly take policemen hostage in the town of Mahcbad.
Sep 30, 1991 Iran begins to repatriate some of the 30,000 Iranian Kurdish refugees in Iraq who moved away during the Iran-Iraq war.
Dec 2, 1991 Iran executes a Kurdish cleric convicted of spying for Iraq.
Jan 1, 1992 more than 200 Iranian Kurdish refugees are allowed to return from Iraq.
Jan 17 - 18, 1992 There are several reports of violent demonstrations in several Kurdish towns in western Iran. In the town of Bowkan 17 are killed or wounded.
Mar 1992 there are several reports of Iranian Kurds attacking Iran from across the Iraqi border.
Sep 13, 1992 Iran and Turkey agree to boost border security and clamp down on each other's Kurdish opposition. Each state's opposition uses the other state as a base for its operations.
Sep 17, 1992 Two gunmen, believed to be working for the Iranian government, shoot at eight KDPI officials in Bonn, Germany. Four KDPI politicians and their driver are killed.
Mar 1 - Dec 31, 1993 Iranian forces shell Iranian Kurdish opposition forces in Iraq with both artillery and airplanes.
Apr 1 - May 31, 1993 Iranian forces cross over into Iraq and attack Kurdish rebel forces. They eventually occupy a "security zone" of over 100 sq km.
May 20, 1993 Iran accuses Iraq of training Iranian Kurdish rebels.
Jun 7, 1993 Iran, Syria and Turkey meet to discuss the Kurdish problem in northern Iraq which they all feel is a threat to their security.
Jul 1 - Oct 31, 1993 About 5000 Iraqi Kurds flee to Iran. 55,00 Iraqi Kurds now live in Iran.
Aug 9, 1993 Iranian forces cross the border into Iraq and attack Kurdish rebel forces.
Sep 1 - Nov 30, 1993 Iranian Kurdish rebels continuously attack Iranian revolutionary guards and government buildings in the Kurdish areas of Iran along the Iraqi and Turkish borders.
Nov 1 - Dec 31, 1993 Both the UN and Amnesty International accuse the Iranian government of the political assassination of members of its Kurdish opposition.
Nov 15, 1993 Iran blows up a car in Iraqi Kurdistan killing six including 5 KDPI members.
Dec 1993 Iran and Turkey reach an agreement to coordinate their efforts against each other's Kurdish opposition.
Jan 7, 1994 A prominent member of the KDPI is assassinated by gunmen believed to be affiliated with Iranian security forces.
Feb 20, 1994 An Iranian Kurdish NCO flies his helicopter to Iraqi Kurdistan and asks for political asylum.
Apr 27, 1994 A home made bomb explodes near a government building in the Iranian Kurdish town of Oshnoviyeh. No one is killed.
Aug 17, 1994 The democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan claims to have killed 15 Iranian Revolutionary Guards in a clash in western Iran.
Sep 1, 1994 Iran's IRNA news agency says that Kurdish rebels have blocked a highway in western Iran, set 2 military vehicles ablaze and wounded one person. The rebels also went to the village of Nahrab and delivered speeches to the residents.
Sep 25, 1994 Turkey and Iran agree to stop opposition groups from operating in each other's territory.
Oct 5, 1994 The Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran charges that Tehran intends to level 17 Kurdish villages in western Iran.
Oct 11, 1994 The Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran announces that 4 Kurdish villages have been demolished by Iran and that authorities have told the residents of 5 more villages to leave.
Nov 6 - 9, 1994 Iran bombs several Iranian Kurdish opposition groups in Iraq.
Apr 1995 A total of 6 Iranian Kurds were killed in attacks in Iraqi Kurdistan, allegedly by Iranian government agents. (Foundation for Democracy in Iran)
Jun 5, 1995 Two members of an Iranian Kurdish group were gunned down in Iraqi Kurdistan by Iranian government agents, according to the State Department's yearly report on terrorism. (Foundation for Democracy in Iran)
Jul 13, 1995 The UN High Commissioner for Refugees says that some 12,000 out of 23,000 Iranian Kurd refugees in a camp in western Iraq have registered their names for voluntary repatriation.
Aug 4, 1995 The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan says that Iranian government agents assassinated its representative in Baghdad. Tehran denies the charges and says the killings are the result of political infighting among rebels.
Sep 1 - Oct 31, 1995 An Iranian Kurdish opposition group accused Iranian officials of torturing and executing ten Kurdish political prisoners who allegedly supported a banned political group, Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (KDPI). Another 345 people were also arrested at this time for the same infraction. (Reuters, October 3; Foundation for Democracy in Iran, October 20. 1995)
Dec 4, 1995 The Democractic Party of Iranian Kurdistan kills 15 members of the Iranian security force in clashes in western Iran. (Reuters)
Apr 21, 1996 Iranian agents driving a Red Crescent Society ambulance attacked an Iranian Kurdish refugee camp in northern Iraq. (Foundation for Democracy in Iran)
Jun 22, 1996 Turkish troops inside Iran allegedly killed 7 members of KDPI in Iran. (Reuters)
Jul 10, 1996 Iranian agents exploded a car-bomb near a housing complex amidst the main concentration of KDPI refugee camps in northern Iraq. (Foundation for Democracy in Iran)
Jul 28, 1996 Rahman Radjabi Hamvand, a member of KDPI, was executed. The charges against him stemmed from a complaint by a private individual that was later withdrawn. (US State Department, February 1997)
Jul 29, 1996 3,000 Iranian troops entered Kurdish territory in northern Iraq in search of KDPI guerillas, reportedly killing 20 members of KDPI, while displacing over 2,000 Iranian Kurd refugees. Iranian officials claimed that the attack was justified on the basis of self-defense (Reuters)
Aug 4, 1996 KDPI members announce that they will stop crossborder attacks from Iraq into Iran. (Agence France Presse)
Aug 23, 1996 Former president of Iran Abolhassan Banisadr stated that during the last 15 years, the Iranian government ordered the killings of over 60 dissidents, including 4 KDPI leaders in Germany in 1992. (Rueters)
Aug 24, 1996 KDPI members in Iraq claim that Iran is planning to launch another offensive into northern Iraq and called upon the world community to condemn Iranian aggression. (Reuters)
Sep 19, 1996 During a review of Irans military forces, the Ayotollah Khomeini stated his belief that the Kurds, like other big tribes in the Islamic Iran, are the indivisible part of this great Iranian nation. (BBC, September 21, 1996)
Apr 1997 Improved relations between Tehran and Ankara led to the deportation from Turkey to northern Iraq over 70 KDPI members. (The Daily Telegraph, April 19, 1997)
Apr 10, 1997 A German court implicated the Iranian government in the deaths of 4 Kurdish dissidents in Germany in 1992. All EU countries except Greece recalled temporarily their ambassadors from Iran following the finding of the court, imposing limited diplomatic sanctions on Iran. (Reuters, Agence France Presse)
Apr 13, 1997 Iranian Kurds accused Iranian officials of trying to poison KDPI members after 85 Iranian Kurds were treated for food poisoning with a highly toxic substance. (Reuters)
May 25, 1997 A moderate candidate, Mohammad Khatami, is elected president of Iran.
Jun 20, 1997 An Iranian Kurdish writer was sentenced to 24 months in prison, according to the Human Rights Alliance, a US-based non-profit group. Tawahudi was charged with "propagating non-Islamic lies.? (Foundation for Democracy in Iran, June 30, 1997)
Dec 2, 1998 Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi denied any ?Kurdish problem? in Iran, noting that Iranian Kurds can enjoy their ?full cultural identity,' unlike Turkish Kurds. (BBC)
Feb 16, 1999 The arrest of Turkish Kurd leader Abdullah Ocalan leads to riots by Kurds in Iran, especially in western Iran, and throughout Europe. (Deutshche Presse-Agentur)

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