Kurds in Iran

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Iranian Kurds
Total population
Estimates from 6,738,787[1][better source needed] to 8,000,000[2][3][4]
Mainly Kurdish (Sorani, Kirmanji, Southern Kurdish, Gorani, Laki), but also Persian, Azeri
Predominantly Shia Islam[5][6][7]; minorities practice Sunni Islam, Yarisan, Kurdish Christianity, Bahá'ís
Related ethnic groups
(Lurs, Bakhtiaris, Tats, Talysh, Gilakis, Mazandaranis, Persians)

Iranians of Kurdish origin also known as Iranian Kurds are Iranians of Kurdish ethnicity, many of whom speak Kurdish as their first language. The Kurds are the third largest ethnic group in Iran[8] after the ethnic Persians and Iranian Azerbaijanis, comprising more than 10% of the country's population according to the CIA.[9][10][11]

Geographic distribution[edit]

Iranian Kurds in Marivan protest against ISIL in support of Kobanî city, 6 October 2014

Iranian Kurdistan or Eastern Kurdistan (Kurdish: Rojhilatê Kurdistanê), is an unofficial name for the parts of northwestern Iran inhabited by Kurds which borders Iraq and Turkey.[12] It includes the Kurdistan Province, Kermanshah Province, West Azerbaijan Province, Ilam Province and Hamadan Province.[13][14][15][16]

Kurds generally consider Iranian Kurdistan to be one of the four parts of a greater Kurdistan, which also includes parts of southeastern Turkey (Northern Kurdistan), northern Syria (Western Kurdistan), and northern Iraq (Southern Kurdistan).[12]

According to the last census conducted in 2006, the four Kurdish-inhabited provinces in Iran, West Azerbaijan (2,873,459), Kermanshah Province (1,879,385), Kurdistan Province (1,440,156), and Ilam Province (545,787) have a total population of 6,738,787.[1] Communities of Lurs inhabit the southern areas of Ilam Province.[citation needed] Kurds make up 21% of the population in West Azerbaijan Province.[17]

The total Kurdish population makes up about 9%—10% of Iran's population.[9][11] A side of sources mention that majority of Kurds in Iran are Shia Muslims.[18][6][7] Shia Feyli Kurds inhabit Kermanshah Province, except for those parts where people are Jaff, and Ilam Province; as well as some parts of Kurdistan and Hamadan provinces. The Kurds of Khorasan, in the North Khorasan Province of northeastern Iran, are Shi'ite Muslims.[19][20][citation needed] During the Shia revolution in Iran the major Kurdish political parties were unsuccessful in absorbing Kurds, who at that period had no interest in autonomy.[21][22] However, since the 1990s Kurdish nationalism has seeped into the Kurdish area partly due to outrage against government's violent suppression of Kurdish independence calls farther north.[23]

Kurdish separatism in Iran[edit]

Kurdish separatism in Iran[24] or the Kurdish–Iranian conflict[25][26] is an ongoing,[27][28][29] long running, separatist dispute between the Kurdish opposition in Western Iran and the governments of Iran,[24] lasting since the emergence of Reza Shah Pahlavi in 1918.[27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Iran Provinces". statoids.com.
  2. ^ Hoare, Ben; Parrish, Margaret, eds. (1 March 2010). "Country Factfiles — Iran". Atlas A–Z (Fourth ed.). London: Dorling Kindersley Publishing. p. 238. ISBN 9780756658625. Population: 74.2 million; Religions: Shi'a Muslim 91%, Sunni Muslim 8%, other 1%; Ethnic Mix: Persian 50%, Azari 24%, other 10%, Kurd 8%, Lur and Bakhtiari 8%
  3. ^ World Factbook (Online ed.). Langley, Virginia: US Central Intelligence Agency. 2015. ISSN 1553-8133. Retrieved 2 August 2015. A rough estimate in this edition has populations of 14.3 million in Turkey, 8.2 million in Iran, about 5.6 to 7.4 million in Iraq, and less than 2 million in Syria, which adds up to approximately 28–30 million Kurds in Kurdistan or adjacient regions. CIA estimates are as of August 2015 – Turkey: Kurdish 18%, of 81.6 million; Iran: Kurd 10%, of 81.82 million; Iraq: Kurdish 15%-20%, of 37.01 million, Syria: Kurds, Armenians, and other 9.7%, of 17.01 million.
  4. ^ Yildiz, Kerim; Fryer, Georgina (2004). The Kurds: Culture and Language Rights. Kurdish Human Rights Project. Data: 18% of Turkey, 20% of Iraq, 8% of Iran, 9.6%+ of Syria; plus 1–2 million in neighboring countries and the diaspora
  5. ^ Leinonen, Anu (2017). Unity or Diversity? Turkish Nationalism, Kurds, and the Turkish Mainstream Press (PDF). Helsinki: University of Helsinki. p. 66. ISBN 978-951-51-2890-4. Most Iranian Kurds are Shi’a (of Twelver Shi’ism).
  6. ^ a b Ethnicity unit is not the reason for making an independence country Retrieved 8 February 2018
  7. ^ a b Zare'i: Kurds... Retrieved 8 February 2018
  8. ^ Political Geography of Iranian Nationalities farsnews.com 18 February 2018
  9. ^ a b "Iran". The World Factbook. Archived from the original on 3 February 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  10. ^ "Iran" (PDF). Library of Congress. May 2008. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  11. ^ a b "Iran Peoples". Looklex Encyclopaedia. Retrieved 2013-07-27.
  12. ^ a b Kurdish Awakening: Nation Building in a Fragmented Homeland, (2014), by Ofra Bengio, University of Texas Press
  13. ^ Federal Research Division, 2004, Iran: A Country Study, Kessinger Publishing, ISBN 1-4191-2670-9, ISBN 978-1-4191-2670-3, p. 121, "The Kurdish area of Iran includes most of West Azerbaijan."
  14. ^ Youssef Courbage, Emmanuel Todd, 2011, A Convergence of Civilizations: The Transformation of Muslim Societies Around the World, p. 74. Columbia University Press, ISBN 0-231-15002-4, ISBN 978-0-231-15002-6. "Kurds are also a majority of the population in the provinces of Kermanshah, West Azerbaijan, and Ilam."
  15. ^ William Eagleton, 1988, An Introduction to Kurdish Rugs and Other Weavings, University of California, Scorpion, 144 pages. ISBN 0-905906-50-0, ISBN 978-0-905906-50-8. "Iranian Kurdistan is relatively narrow where it touches the Soviet border in the north and is hemmed in on the east by the Azerbaijani Turks. Extending south along the border west of Lake Urmia is the tribal territory."
  16. ^ http://www.pen-kurd.org/kurdi/ikrambalekani/eyaletakurdistane-liirane.html
  17. ^ General Culture Council of Islamic Republic of Iran for West Azerbaijan province: فهرست نویسی پیش از انتشار کتابخانه ملی جمهوری اسلامی ایران * شماره کتابشناسه ملّی:۲۸۹۰۶۹۰ *عنوان و نام پدیدآورنده:طرح بررسی و سنجش شاخص های فرهنگ عمومی کشور(شاخص های غیرثبتی){گزارش}:گزارش های پیشرفت طرح ها وکلان شهرها/به سفارش شورای فرهنگ عمومی کشور؛مدیر طرح و مسئول سیاست گذاری:منصور واعظی؛اجرا:شرکت پژوهشگران خبره پارس *بهاء:۱۰۰۰۰۰ ریال-شابک:۷-۶۸-۶۶۲۷-۶۰۰-۹۷۸ *وضعیت نشر:تهران-موسسه انتشارات کتاب نشر ۱۳۹۱ *وضعیت ظاهری:۲۹۵ ص:جدول(بخش رنگی)،نمودار(بخش رنگی)*یادداشت:عنوان دیگر:طرح و بررسی و سنجش شاخص های فرهنگ عمومی کشور(شاخص های غیرثبتی) سال ۱۳۸۹ *توصیفگر:شاخص های غیرثبتی+شاخص های فرهنگی+گزارش های پیشرفت طرح ها و کلان شهرها *توصیفگر:ایران ۳۸۶۲۸۹ *تهران۱۹۹۰۶۶ /مشهد۲۹۲۳۴۱ /اصفهان ۱۷۰۰۱۷/تبریز۱۸۴۸۱/کرج ۲۷۸۲۵۲/شیراز۲۵۱۷۰۳/اهواز۱۷۶۴۰۳/قم۲۷۰۸۷۷ *شناسنامه افزوده:واعظی،منصور،۱۳۳۳-۷۳۵۰۶۸ *شناسنامه افزوده:شرکت پژوهشگران خبره پارس /شورای فرهنگ عمومی *مرکز پخش:خیابان ولیعصر،زرتشت غربی،خیابان کامبیز،بخش طباطبایی رفیعی،پلاک۱۸،تلفن:۷-۸۸۹۷۸۴۱۵ *لیتوگرافی،چاپ وصحافی:سازمان چاپ و انتشارات اوقاف , (German)Titel: Der Plan um Untersuchungen und Auswertungen der Indikatoren der generellen Kultur des Landes, ISBN 978-600-6627-68-7, Jahr der Veröffentlichung: 2012, Verlag: Ketabe Nashr |language=Persian
  18. ^ Leinonen, Anu (2017). Unity or Diversity? Turkish Nationalism, Kurds, and the Turkish Mainstream Press (PDF). Helsinki: University of Helsinki. p. 66. ISBN 978-951-51-2890-4. Most Iranian Kurds are Shi’a (of Twelver Shi’ism).
  19. ^ http://rangvarehayeyekrang.ir
  20. ^ www.kojaro.com
  21. ^ Romano, David (2006). The Kurdish Nationalist Movement. New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 235. ISBN 0-521-85041-X.
  22. ^ McDowall (1996). A Modern History of the Kurds. London: I.B. Tauris. p. 270. ISBN 1-85043-653-3.
  23. ^ McDowall (1996). A Modern History of the Kurds. London: I.B. Tauris. p. 278. ISBN 1-85043-653-3.
  24. ^ a b Habeeb, William Mark; Frankel, Rafael D.; Al-Oraibi, Mina (2012). The Middle East in Turmoil: Conflict, Revolution, and Change. Santa Barbara: Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 46. ISBN 978-0-313-33914-1. OCLC 753913763.
  25. ^ Bhutani, Surendra (1980), Contemporary Gulf, Academic Press, p. 32
  26. ^ Near East, North Africa report, 1994
  27. ^ a b Smith, Benjamin, "The Kurds of Iran: Opportunistic and Failed Resistance, 1918‐", Land and Rebellion: Kurdish Separatism in Comparative Perspective (PDF), Cornell, p. 10, archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-06-15
  28. ^ Cite error: The named reference uarkansas was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  29. ^ Elling, Rasmus Christian (2013). Minorities in Iran: Nationalism and Ethnicity after Khomeini. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 312. ISBN 978-0-230-11584-2. OCLC 714725127.