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Crisis on Iran-Iraq Border: Massoud Barzani Warns of Future Events

By Kaveh Ghoreishi, Rooz Online

The resumption of attacks on the border areas of Iran and Iraq's Kurdistan by the armed forces of the Islamic republic on the assertion of the presence of PKK (the Kurdistan Workers Party) which had stopped last year, resulted in a warning by the highest authorities in the region: The head of the Iraqi Kurdistan provincial authority said that the continuation of these "unacceptable" and "distasteful" attacks would harm bilateral relations.

Border areas of Iran and Iraq's Kurdistan

Over the past few days Iraqi media have quoted members of the Iraqi parliament to have said that the artillery attacks by the Islamic republic are "a blatant violation of the territorial sovereignty" of Iraq and have called on the government to officially respond to the issue.

Violence Will Bring No Results

Massoud Barzani, the head of the provincial Iraqi Kurdish government issued a statement that appeared in the official Iraqi Kurdish media on June 2, which condemned the targeting of civilians by the Iranian artillery.

In the statement, the head of the Iraqi Kurdish government said that while there was no reason to engage in bombarding the border areas added, "To resolve issues, talks should be pursued and not the creation of the reign of terror and we must all believe bombardments and violence will not produce any results."

The statement also lists the great damage done to agriculture, farming and the border residents in Iraqi Kurdistan, resulting in the forced departure of many from their houses and residences.

Iraqi Kurdish media have in recent days reported on artillery bombardment by the Islamic republic on the Haji Omran border areas and the mountainous Ghandil region. The villages of Bordooneh, Kaniyeh, Rahesh, Nirgan, Banari Koodo, Seh Rooy Kani Sepi and Behrad Ghaleshtan have been reported to have been the targets of the bombardments.

Last year, the same area was also the scene of Iranian artillery bombardments resulting in the death of children and civilians and the departure of some 300 families from their homes.

In recent years, the Islamic republic has on several occasions attacked the border areas between Iran and Iraqi Kurdistan on the assertion that the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the Kurdish Free Life party (PJAK) were present on the Iraqi side of the border. But members of the Turkish Workers party deny any presence of their forces on the Iranian side. Ahmad Deniz, the spokesperson for the PKK last year said in this regard, "The assertion that PKK and PJAK forces are there is just an excuse for the continuation of attacks by the Islamic republic." On the presence of the PJAK forces, Denis said, "PJAK has no military bases in that region and has never engaged in military or non-military activities in that region. If PJAK has military bases, they are on the Iranian side of the border."

In this regard, the official spokesperson for the Kurdish provincial government in Iraq Kaveh Mahmoud spoke with Rooz and interpreted the attacks by the Islamic republic in these terms: "There is no excuse to engage in aggression of another country because relations between countries are structured on the basis of UN agreements and international law. According to these resolutions, no country has the right to engage in aggression, move military troops or interfere in the domestic affairs of other countries. Sometimes differences come up between Middle Eastern countries, but there are plenty of channels to engage in peaceful resolution of differences through dialog and diplomatic relations based on laws and agreements."

Violation of the Territorial Sovereignty

In addition to the Islamic republic of Iran, the Turkish government too has attacked the same region on the assertion of the presence of PKK forces. This issue was formally discussed in Iraq's parliament just a few days prior to Barzani's statement.

Lane Mohammad, a member of Iraq's parliament told Payam Neer news agency that these attacks created a reign of terror and violated the territorial sovereignty of Iraq, and added, "To resolve this issue, a request has been signed up by 50 Kurdish and Arab deputies. The issue was raised in the parliament and the security and defense committed of parliament along with the foreign relations committee have been tasked to discuss the issue with relevant officials at the ministry of defense and the foreign ministry."

Ala Talebani, another Iraqi MP said that the ambassador's of the relevant "aggressor" countries should be summoned to the foreign ministry.

Iran's former ambassador to Baghdad Kazemi Ghomi had earlier said that the border areas had to be cleansed of "terrorist" groups.

... Payvand News - 07/07/11 ... --

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