ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A spokesperson for one of the main Iranian Kurdish opposition parties has called on the Trump administration to take serious actions against Iran, after Tehran killed 15, and injured another 42 in a missile attack on Iranian Kurdish parties in Koya.
“We have seen a lot of words, not actions, not deeds. We are waiting. Our contacts with officials in Washington are improving every day,” Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDP-I) spokesperson Asso Hassan Zadeh said at a press conference in Erbil on Wednesday.
On Monday, US Vice President Mike Pence condemned the Iranian attack in a phone call with Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani. Moreover, on Tuesday, US State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert also denounced the attack.
Two Iranian Kurdish leaders visited Washington in June, but so far, Iranian Kurdish politicians say they have not seen any support from Washington for Kurds or regime change. Nevertheless, they welcome President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out from the nuclear deal.
“The real strategy of the Trump administration is not clear,” Hassan Zadeh said. “Is it regime change, or stopping the regime’s behavior in this region?”
“It’s very important to emphasize the urgent need to have a democratic free government in Iran. There will be no peace and stability in the region as long as we have the Islamic Republic,” the spokesperson added.
“When the Iranian army attacked our headquarters in 1996 and came until Koy Sinjaq, the attack was stopped by the US military air force. That’s what we really need now: concrete measures, not just condemnations.”
The Kurdish official said they had not seen any real shift in American policy yet, despite the appointment of Iran hawk John Bolton several months ago.
In May, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reiterated that regime change was not an objective in dealings with Iran.
“We are waiting to see the next shift in the Trump administration, especially after the appointment of new officials,” Hassan Zadeh said. “But we are still a little bit worried it’s only about limiting Iran’s actions in the region; with this nothing will be resolved.”
“Part of Iran’s strength is its destabilization activities in other countries in the region,” he explained, adding the regime in Tehran needs to go before any democracy and freedom can come.
In response to a question from Kurdistan 24's @vvanwilgenburg, KDP-I spokesperson Aso Hasanzadeh says it is unclear if drones came from Iran or from inside Iraq. But he confirms the missiles came from Iran.#TwitterKurds #Koya pic.twitter.com/GMKKz0DUW6— Kurdistan 24 English (@K24English) September 12, 2018
Moreover, the KDP-I spokesperson said the same missiles that the United Nations discussed in its sessions, and which Iran gave to Hezbollah in Lebanon, and that was used by the Houthis in Yemen to attack Saudi Arabia were the same ones used in the assault on Kurds.
Therefore, he argued that condemnations are not enough, and the UN Security Council needs to discuss “the crimes” Iran committed last Saturday.
“Iran’s military chief of staff threatened to strike again,” Hassan Zadeh warned, suggesting the possible attack could threaten Kurdish refugees that also live in Koya who fled Iran after the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
The official suggested there might be a need to relocate them to other areas to protect their lives.
“We relay our call to stop the Iranian aggression, to protect our mothers, children, and families,” he stated.
“I call on all humanitarian organizations to visit us in Koy Sinjaq, and to see our immediate needs, and to see how they can help us.”
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany