Abdullah Mohtadi was born in 1949 in the Kurdistan region of Iran. His father was a minister in the short-lived Kurdish Republic of Mahabad. The family later settled in Tehran, the capital city of Iran, where his father taught theology at the city’s university. Abdullah received his BA in Business at Tehran Business School.
Mohtadi became politically active while at university. With fellow Kurdish students in Tehran, he co-founded the Komala organization in 1969 as an independent party.
During the Shah’s persecutions in the 1970s, Mohtadi was arrested three times, and has spent over three years in jail as a political prisoner. He was also later arrested under Khomeini.
During the Iranian Revolution, Mohtadi led mass demonstrations and rallies in the Kurdistan region of Iran. But the nature of Mohtadi’s movement was in sharp contrast to the movement in Tehran. In Tehran and across parts of Iran, Ayatollahs controlled the movement and made it an Islamic Revolution. Meanwhile, the Kurdish movement remained democratic and did not obey the rule of the Ayatollahs.
When Ayatollah Khomeini ordered a massive onslaught against Iranian Kurds in August 1979, Mohtadi emerged as a leader of the Kurdish resistance movement.
Iran decided to negotiate with the Kurds due to pressure from the Kurdish resistance, and Mohtadi was appointed the head of Komala in the United Kurdish Delegation for negotiations.
During the 1990s, Mohtadi strongly advocated the need for a radical change in the Iranian oppositions’ way of thinking. He argued that they should adapt to the needs of the time and put democracy first.
An accomplished writer, Mohtadi has written intensely on Kurdish and Iranian politics. He left his doctoral studies in London in 1997 to dedicate his time to the Komala cause. He had a pivotal role in making deep political changes in the Komala Party, including its affiliation to social democracy. Since then, he has presided over a period of rapid revival and growth for the party.
Mohtadi stands for a democratic, pluralist and non-centralist Iran that lives in peace with its diverse cultural, linguistic, religious and ethnic population, its neighbors and the world.
An experienced Kurdish leader and a well-known figure in the Iranian opposition, Mohtadi is now the official leader of the Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan.