No tolerance for assaults from Iraqi Kurdistan: Iran

January 21, 2018

TEHRAN - Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani said on Sunday that Tehran will not “tolerate” attacks on Iranian security forces and citizens by some anti-revolutionary groups who use the Iraqi Kurdistan territory for the purpose, noting that security in the border region is Iran’s “red line”.

Shamkhani made the remarks in a meeting with Iraqi Kurdistan Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani.

“Iran will never tolerate the act of some anti-revolution’s groups in killing the Iranian soldiers and citizens through the Kurdish lands and take the responsibility brazenly in interviews with the Kurdish media,” Shamkhani asserted.

Certain armed groups use bases in Iraq’s remote mountainous north and launch sporadic raids into Iran.

For his part, Barzani said, “Relations between Iran and the Kurdistan region will not be influenced negatively by the ill-wishers and we will use all our power to prevent security threats against Iran.”

Barzani is the first high-ranking Iraqi Kurdistan official visiting Tehran after the ill-fated independence referendum in the autonomous region last year.

Relations between Tehran and the autonomous region strained after the referendum. Iran strongly opposed the referendum and closed its border with the region. 

Shamkhani said some “regional and extra-regional countries” seek to weaken Iraq and other countries in West Asia.

Israel openly defended partition of the Kurdistan region from the mainland Iraq. 

Tehran ready to mediate between Baghdad and Erbil

Elsewhere in his talks with Barzani, Shamkhani said Iran is ready to help facilitate dialogue between the central Iraqi government and the Kurdistan region, noting that relations between Iran and Iraq are on the rise despite all plots.

Barzani also said that the Kurdistan region is proud of being a friend of Iran.

The Kurdish referendum on Sept. 25 angered Iraq’s central government. The central government launched an offensive to recapture Kurdish held-areas, including the oil-rich city of Kirkuk. 

On Saturday, one day before his travel to Tehran, Barzani held talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Baghdad. It was the first meeting since conflict broke out over the independence referendum.

NA/PA
 

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