Fewer than half of the people of Iran in 1979 were Persian and spoke Farsi. Suffering oppression under Shah, the national minorities, Kurds, Azeris, Arabs, Balushis, Qashquaia and Turkmans participated in the movement to overthrow his regime to further their demands for self-government and self-determination.
However Khomeini’s regime soon turned on these minorities. On 18-21 March Kurdish villages in Sanandaj were bombed for demanding national self-determination and for seizing land from the landlords.
On 26-29 March, troops shot down Turkman peasants in Gonbadkavoos, again for seizing land.
On 26 July fighting broken out between Kurdish fighters and government troops in Marivan. In mid-August Kurdish fighters and government troops fought over Paveh. Government troops killed 400 people in the assault. Khomeini ordered a general mobilisation to put down the Kurdish rebellion. The Kurdish Democratic Party was banned. Fighting continue in Saqaz and Sardasht. Although Kurdish troops called a truce, Khomeini ordered troops to crush the rebellion.