Iranian Kurdish female members of the Freedom Party of Kurdistan (PAK) keep a position in Dibis. File photo: AFP
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QAMISHLI – Iranian Kurds have rejected the statements of the former head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Mohsen Rezaee Mirgha’ed. The official accused Saudi Arabia of supporting Iranian Kurdish groups in order to destabilize Iran.
Mohsen Rezaee, the Secretary of the Expediency Discernment Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran, on Saturday accused Saudi Arabia of establishing bases in Iraqi Kurdistan and Pakistan to destabilize Iran, and supporting Iranian Kurdish groups against the government.
The official accused Saudi Arabian officials of having meetings with the Iranian Kurdish groups of PJAK –affiliated to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)– Komala, and Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDK-I) in order to destabilize Iran.
The former commander warned the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) headed by Masoud Barzani, the President of Iraqi Kurdistan, that Iran could carry out operations against these groups that have bases inside Iraqi Kurdistan.
The accusations come after the Prince Turki Al-Faisal, former Saudi Arabian intelligence chief, on 9 July called for the downfall of the Iranian regime in a gathering of the Iranian opposition group Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) in Paris. However, Kurdish officials say they have no relations with either Saudi Arabia or MEK.
Aso Saleh, a representative of the PDK-I in Sweden, rejected the statements as a sign of weakness by Iran.
“Islamic republic of Iran claimed over past 22 years that the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan is disbanded. But now we see that PDK-I peshmerga forces and their struggle is a challenge to IRGC forces,” Saleh told ARA News. “They have to explain the PDK-I presence in one way to their supporters. It is only a propaganda against the new phase of struggle of PDK-I against the Iranian regime.”
Saleh said they do have relations with the PKK as a Kurdish party, but he doubts there is any coordination against Iran. “I think PKK acts in the same direction as Iranian regime in the region. It is not desired to us,” he said.
“The rulers in Teheran believe that if they have domestic problems they blame it on Israelis and Saudis, and the problem in Iran is solved! But this is absurd,” Hiwa Bahrami, PDK-I representative to Germany and Austria told ARA News. “We are talking about the Kurdish issue in Iran and it has nothing to do with tensions with Iran or the Saudis or other countries,” he added.
“But their threats to Southern Kurdistan [Iraqi Kurdistan] are serious,” he said. “I appeal to the international community, especially the US and the EU, to adopt a position towards the threat of Iran against the Kurdistan Regional Government.”
However, it was true in the beginning of July that there was a meeting between the PDK-I and the PKK’s Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK). “[There was a] meeting between PDK-I and KCK to strengthen cooperation,” the PDK-I official Hiwa Bahrami said on Twitter on 5 July.
This is not the first time that Iranian officials threatened the Kurdistan region after continuous clashes that erupted between Iranian Kurdish Peshmerga forces and Iranian regime soldiers since 25 June.
On 2 July, General Hossein Salami, deputy chief of the Revolutionary Guards Corps, threatened the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) of Iraq with an invasion. The KRG quickly rejected the statement.
“We strongly reject this inappropriate threat of Salami and consider it as a stance that does not correspond to the old friendly relations between the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Islamic Republic of Iran,” the KRG said in a reply.
“It is for this reason that we never wanted and do not want the Kurdistan Region’s territory to become a source of attacks inside Iranian or any other neighbouring county’s territory,” the statement added.
Reporting by: Wladimir van Wikgenburg
Source: ARA News