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Dreaming Kurdistan

The Life and Death of Kurdish Leader Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou

Carol Prunhuber

A thorough work of contemporary history and a distillation of the complex web of the Iranian Kurdish political world, this biography of Kurdish leader Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou depicts the character and passionate action of one of the twentieth century’s most exceptional and democratic leaders of a national movement.

Carol Prunhuber, who knew Ghassemlou from the early 1980s, shows us the many facets of a humanist leader of magnitude and worldwide scope. From revolution that toppled the Shah to the dark and treacherous alleys of the Cold War, Dreaming Kurdistan revives the Kurdish leader’s fated path to assassination in Vienna. We know how, why, and who murdered Ghassemlou—and we stand witness to Austria’s raison d’état, the business interests that put a lid on the investigation, and the response of silent indifference from the international community.

Professor of economics in Prague, bon vivant in Paris, clandestine freedom fighter in the Kurdish mountains, stalked by the Shah’s secret police, Ghassemlou is ultimately assassinated by the hit men of Ayatollah Khomeini’s Islamic Republic. Prunhuber takes us, through a murky world of equivocal liaisons, complicities, treachery, and undisguised threats, from Tehran to Vienna.

While the Islamic Republic of Iran continues to perturb and defy the West, Dreaming Kurdistan is essential for an understanding of Iran and the Kurds’ longing for freedom and democracy.

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Names: Prunhuber, Carol, author. Title: Dreaming Kurdistan: The Life and Death of Kurdish Leader Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou / Carol Prunhuber. Description: New York, NY: Peter Lang, 2019. Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2019006814 | ISBN 978-1-4331-6784-3 (paperback: alk. paper) ISBN 978-1-4331-6893-2 (ebook pdf) | ISBN 978-1-4331-6894-9 (epub) ISBN 978-1-4331-6895-6 (mobi) Subjects: LCSH: Ghassemlou, Abdul Rahman. Hizb-i Dimukrati-i Kurdistan-i Iran. Kurds—Iran—Biography. Politicians—Iran—Biography. Kurds—Iran—Politics and government—20th century. Iran—Politics and government—20th century. Classification: LCC DS316.9.G49 P78 2019 | DDC 324.255/083092 [B]—dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2019006814 DOI 10.3726/b15588

Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at http://dnb.d-nb.de/.

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