Kurds in Iran

  (Redirected from Iranian Kurds)

Kurds in Iran (Kurdish: Kurdên Îranê ,کورد لە ئێران‎,[6] Persian: کردها در ایران‎)[7] are the third largest ethnic group in Iran[8] after Persians and Iranian Azerbaijanis, comprising about 10% of the country's population according to the CIA in 2014.[1]

Iranian Kurds
Total population
8.1 million (10%)
(2014 CIA estimate)[1]
Kurdish, Gorani and Persian
Shia Islam (Twelver)[2][3]
Sunni Islam (Shafi‘i)[4]
(Sufi order Qadiriyya also present)[5]
Related ethnic groups
see Iranian peoples

Geographic distribution

Iranian Kurds in Marivan protest against ISIL during the Siege of Kobanî, 6 October 2014

Iranian Kurdistan or Eastern Kurdistan (Kurdish: Rojhilatê Kurdistanê), is an unofficial name for the parts of western Iran inhabited by Kurds which borders Iraq and Turkey.[9] It includes the Kurdistan Province, Kermanshah Province, West Azerbaijan Province, Ilam Province, and Lorestan Province.[10][11][12][13]

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.[14][15] The Laki tribe populate parts of Ilam Province and Lorestan Province, while Chegini Kurds reside in central Lorestan.

During the Iranian Revolution, Kurdish nationalist political parties were unsuccessful in attracting support, who at that time had no interest in autonomy.[16][17] However, since the 1990s, Kurdish nationalism in the region has grown, partly due to outrage at the government's violent suppression of Kurdish activism.[18]


The two major religions among Kurds in Iran are Islam and Yarsanism, while fewer Kurds adhere to the Baháʼí Faith and Judaism.[19][20] There is disagreement on which is the largest denomination among Kurds; some experts such as Richard N. Frye and Martin van Bruinessen argue that Sunni Islam (the Shafi‘i branch[4]) is the majority religion,[21][22] while researcher Anu Leinonen believes it is the Twelver branch of Shia Islam.[23]

Pockets of Sunni Kurds belong to the Qadiriyya tariqa (around Marivan and Sanandaj). These orders have experienced repression from the state, including the destruction of their places of worship.[5][24] Yarsanis are also targeted by the central government.[25]


Kurdish separatism in Iran[26] or the Kurdish–Iranian conflict[27][28] is an ongoing,[29][30][26][31] long running, separatist dispute between the Kurdish opposition in Western Iran and the governments of Iran,[26] lasting since the emergence of Reza Shah Pahlavi in 1918.[29]


Tribe Kurdish and Persian
Geography Notes
Ali Sherwan Kurdish: عه‌لی شیروان
Persian: ئایل علیشروان
Ilam Province[32] Southern Kurdish–speaking[32]
Amar Kurdish: عمار
Persian: عمارلو
Gilan Province, Greater Khorasan and Qazvin Province[33][34] Kurmanji–speaking[34]
Arkawâzi Kurdish: ئه‌رکه‌وازی
Persian: ارکوازی
Ilam Province[32] Southern Kurdish–speaking[32]
Badreh Kurdish: بەدرە
Persian: بدره‌ای
Ilam Province[35]
Balavand Persian: بالاوند Ilam Province[32]
Beiranvand Kurdish: Bîranwend ,بیرانوەند
Persian: بیرانوند
Between Aleshtar and Khorramabad; Bayranshahr.[36] Laki–speaking.[36]
Chahardoli Persian: چاردولی Hamadan Province and West Azerbaijan Province[37] Laki–speaking[37]
Chalabianlu Persian: چلبیانلو East Azerbaijan Province[38]
Chegini Kurdish: Çengînî ,چەگینی
Persian: چگنی
Between Khorramabad and the Kashgan river.[39] Chegini dialect (Mixture of Laki and Luri)[40]
Dehbalai Persian: بالایی Ilam Province[32]
Delikan Persian: دلیکانلو Ardabil Province[41] Turkophone[41]
Dilfan Kurdish: Dilfan ,دیلفان
Persian: دلفان
Around Delfan County. Present in Ilam and Mazandaran provinces as well.[42] Laki–speaking[42]
Donboli Kurdish: Dimilî ,دونبەلی
Persian: دنبلی
Khoy and Salmas area.[43] Turkophone[44]
Falak al-Din Persian: فلک ئالدین Hamadan Province[45] Laki–speaking[45]
Eyvan Kurdish: ئه‌یوان
Persian: ايوان
Ilam Province[32]
Feyli Kurdish: Feylî ,فه‌یلی
Persian: فیلی
Ilam Province (Ilam, Chardoval, Mehran, Malekshahi, Abdanan, Dehloran).[46] Southern Kurdish–speaking.[46]
Ghiasvand Persian: قیاسوند Hamadan Province[45] Laki–speaking[45]
Guran Kurdish: Goran ,گۆران
Persian: گوران
Hawraman region Gorani–speaking.[47]
Hasanvand Kurdish: حەسەنوەند
Persian: حسنوند
Around Aligudarz, Khorramabad and Borujerd.[48] Laki–speaking.[49]
Herki Kurdish: Herkî ,ھەرکی
Persian: هرکی
Western countryside of Urmia in the Targavar and Margavar valleys.[50][51] Kurmanji–speaking.[52]
Jaff Kurdish: Caf ,جاف
Persian: جاف
From Sanandaj to Kermanshah with Javanrud as area of origin.[53] Sorani–speaking.[54]
Jalali Kurdish: Celalî ,جەلالیان
Persian: جلالی
Around Maku.[55] Kurmanji–speaking.[56]
Jalilavand Kurdish: Celalwend ,جەلیلوەند
Persian: جلیلوند
Around Dinavar and in Lorestan Province.[57] Laki–speaking.[57]
Kakavand Kurdish: Kakewend ,کاکەوەن
Persian: کاکاوند
Kermanshah, Harsin area,[58] and Kakavand District, Delfan.[59] Laki–speaking.[58]
Kalhori Kurdish: Kelhûr ,کەڵھوڕ
Persian: کلهر
Around Eslamabad-e Gharb, Qasr-e Shirin and Gilan-e Gharb.[60]
Ilam Province (Chardoval and Eyvan)[46]
Southern Kurdish–speaking.[46]
Khezel Kurdish: خه‌زه‌ل
Persian: خزل
Ilam Province[32] Southern Kurdish–speaking[32]
Kolivand Persian: كليوند Ilam Province[32]
Kordshuli Kurdish: Kurdşûlî
Persian: کردشولی
Fars Province[61] Laki–speaking[62]
Kuruni Kurdish: Kûranî
Persian: کورونی
Fars Province[63]
Malekshahi Kurdish: Melekşahî
Persian: ملکشاهی
Ilam Province[32] Southern Kurdish–speaking[46]
Mamash Kurdish: Mamaş ,مامش
Persian: مامش
Southern parts of West Azerbaijan.[64] Sorani–speaking.[64]
Mangur Kurdish: Mangûr ,مەنگوڕ
Persian: منگور
Around Piranshahr, Mahabad, Sardasht and Bukan in West Azerbaijan.[65] Sorani–speaking.[66]
Milan Kurdish: Mîlan ,میلان
Persian: میلان
North of Zurabad in northern West Azerbaijan[67] Kurmanji–speaking.[67]
Mukri Kurdish: Mukrî ,موکری
Persian: مکری
Around Baneh, Mahabad, Piranshahr and Saqqez.[68] Sorani–speaking.[69]
Musavand Persian: موسی وند Hamadan Province[45] Laki–speaking[45]
Qolugjan Ardabil Province[41]
Reşwan Kurdish: Reşwan ,ڕەشوان
Persian: رشوند
Gilan Province, Greater Khorasan and Qazvin Province[33][34] Kurmanji–speaking[34]
Rizehvand Persian: ریزه وند Ilam Province[70]
Sanjâbi Kurdish: Sencabî ,سنجاوی
Persian: سنجابی
Western parts of Kermanshah Province.[71] Southern Kurdish-speaking.[72]
Shaqaqi Kurdish: Şeqaqî ,شەقاقی
Persian: شقاقی
East Azerbaijan Province[73]
Shatran Persian: شاترانلو Ardabil Province[41]
Shekak Kurdish: Şikak ,شکاک
Persian: شکاک
Western countryside of Urmia.[74] Kurmanji–speaking.[75]
Shuhan Persian: شوهان Ilam Province[32] Southern Kurdish–speaking[32]
Torkashvand Persian: ترکاشوند Hamadan Province[45] Laki–speaking[45]
Uriad Persian: اوریاد Fars Province[61]
Zangana Kurdish: Zengine ,زەنگەنە
Persian: زنگنه
South of Kermanshah.[60] Southern Kurdish–speaking.[60]
Zola Kurdish: زۆلا
Persian: زوله
Hamadan Province[45] Laki–speaking[45]

See also


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  3. ^ Sebastian Maisel (2018). The Kurds: An Encyclopedia of Life, Culture, and Society. p. 54.
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