Also called: Kurdish Republic of Mahabad
Kurdish: Dawlat-e Jumhouriye Kurdistan
Short-lived state in today’s western Iran from 1945 to 1946.
The republic’s official name was “State of Republic of Kurdistan“, but was also referred to as “National Government of Kurdistan”. Through its one year existence, the republic never quite decided whether it was an independent state or autonomous region of Iran.
The capital of the republic was Mahabad. The extent of the republic was never set — there were peaceful negotiations with the neighbouring Iranian province of Azerbaijan about which republic should control border towns like Khoy, Salmus and Orumiyeh in the north, and Miandouad in the east.
A government was established, but the republic never got to electing a parliament. A national army was established, but did never get enough time to develop into a credible defence force.
A treaty of friendship was signed with Azerbaijan, covering cooperation on the most important political issues, like economy, military and foreign politics.
The republic introduced Kurdish as the official language, and the language to be used in educational institutions. Some Kurdish language periodicals appeared.
There were some redistribution of agricultural lands, but this only applied to unoccupied lands, and the members of the Barzani tribe got more than their fair share. There were no forms of land reform.
1941: As part of World War 2, Iran is partly occupied by foreign forces. In the south, British troops move in, while Soviet troops take control over the north. The region around Mahabad is not occupied.
1942: The Kurdish movement Komala Jiani Kurdistan is founded, asking for more rights of the Kurds.
1945: The Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) is started, and all members of Komala joins. KDP asked for autonomy (i.e. not an independent state), Kurdish as an official language, local democracy and governance and better laws for dealing with the relations between peasants and landowners.
1946 January 24: The State of Republic of Kurdistan is proclaimed by the Kurdish Democratic Party in a ceremony in Saqqez. Delegates from the surrounding lands participate. Qazi Muhammad becomes president, while Mustafa Barzani becomes commander-in-chief.
— May: Soviet troops withdraws from Iran, and leaves the republic vulnerable for attack by Iranian forces.
— December: Iranian troops march into Mahabad, and end the Kurdish rule over the region.
1947 March 30: Qazi Muhammad is hanged by the Iranian army, together with his brother, Sadr-e Qazi.