Leaders of Iran's five to six million Kurds claim to be in control of Kurdistan province.
GV: Iranian troops pulling out in armoured convoy from Kurdistan as children watch (2 shots)
GV: Armed Kurds walking along street as Iranian convoy continues to leave (3 shots)
GV PAN: Iranian convoy on outskirts of town. (2 shots)
GV TILT UP: Armed Kurds around leader's house. (2 shots)
SV: Kurdish leader Sheikh Izzedin Husseini confers with villagers and enters house. (3 shots)
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Background: Leaders of Iran's five to six million Kurds claim to be in control of Kurdistan province. The Kurdish people, who reports say have an unceasing quest for self-determination and nationhood, have treated the latest halt in military operations by Iranian forces as a victory.
SYNOPSIS: Iran's armed forces have halted military operations in Kurdistan and are keeping a low profile to help promote peace talks in the rebel province. When the Iranian troops were sent to Kurdistan three months ago, they were a part of the Ayatollah Khomeini's Holy War against the 'satanic powers' of the Kurdish autonomy movement. The army along with the revolutionary guards invaded several kurdistan towns... including the political capital of Mahabad. But despite the onset of winter, the Kurdish rebels launched a counter offensive which brought the army to the end of its tether and forced Khomeini into an offer of a ceasefire.
The Kurds have demanded the complete withdrawal of the hated Revolutionary Guards and a change of leadership in the control of the armed forces. A three man peace mission from Teheran was twice sent to the province for talks and on Monday night (3 December) it returned from its trip to report.
The result is a promise that troops in Kurdistan will now be under the control of that peace mission which will continue to negotiate some form of peace and autonomy in the region.
But whether it will bring about peace in the stormy region is another question. the Kurds have learned to be suspicious of promises out of Teheran and are well armed.
The Kurds demands include constitutional recognition of their autonomy, an enlarged Kurdistan province, recognition of the Kurdish language, a national assembly and democratic freedoms.
Kurdish religious leader Sheikh Izzedin Husseini says the list of demands is still negotiable, or at least parts of it are. But in the chaos of current day-to-day politics in Iran, it's difficult to sort out which group speaks with authority of the government behind it. At least one prominent religious leader has attacked the peace mission on official Iranian radio. As for the Kurds they are cautiously waiting, going no further than a simple repetition of a hard won national proverb, "The Kurds have no friends".