ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region on Sunday called Tehran’s accusations of Erbil being behind protests that erupted across Iran “comical” as he spoke to reporters at a press conference in Sulaimani.
Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani also pointed out that delegations from political parties in the Region visiting Baghdad were only “representing themselves,” and not the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
Officials from the two main parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), met at the latter party’s headquarters in Sulaimani on Sunday.
KDP Deputy Head, Nechirvan Barzani, and Mala Bakhtiyar, the executive head of the PUK politburo office, addressed a number of issues and personally responded to Tehran’s accusations that Erbil played a role in instigating protests which claimed the lives of at least 20 people over the past week in cities across Iran.
In a statement released on the KRG’s website on Saturday, Spokesperson Safeen Dizayee refuted the allegations by Iranian officials who claimed Erbil “was behind the country-wide protests in Iran.”
“The Kurdistan Region has proven it is a factor of stability in the region and have neither allowed nor will allow itself to become a factor of instability or chaos in neighboring countries,” the statement said, strongly rejecting the “baseless allegations.”
“The allegations [by Iranian officials] do not serve the neighborly relations between the Kurdistan Region and the Islamic Republic of Iran,” the statement concluded.
The Kurdish Premier also touched upon the recent meetings held between opposition parties, Gorran (Change) and Komal (the Islamic Group), and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Baghdad.
“The representatives are there on behalf of their parties, not the [KRG],” Barzani said.
Barzani reiterated the KRG’s readiness to engage in a constructive dialogue with the Iraqi federal government to resolve outstanding issues on the basis of the constitution.
A Kurdish source last week had hinted that Abadi “wants to show that the Kurds are not united,” suggesting the Iraqi Prime Minister is acting “under direction from Iran” as he has still yet to meet with the leading parties in the Kurdistan Region.