ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – A Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) official on Sunday met with an Iranian diplomat in Erbil, relaying the government’s concerns over ‘baseless allegations’ the KRG was behind the wide-spread protests in Iran, calling Tehran to provide evidence.
The Head of the KRG’s Department of Foreign Relations (DFR), Falah Mustafa, met with the Iranian Deputy Consul-General in Erbil, Siyamak Burhani on Sunday. During the meeting, Mustafa delivered the KRG’s official concerns over Iranian Secretary of the Expediency Council, and former IRGC Commander, Mohsen Rezaei’s allegations that Erbil orchestrated violent demonstrations that swept the country.
Mustafa stated that Rezai’s speech “goes against the international laws and bilateral relations because they are baseless accusations, and it is not the first time that such allegations have been made by top Iranian officials [against the Kurdistan Region].”
“We ask him to show evidence of this if he has any,” Mustafa said, according to the DFR’s press office.
He also emphasized that such comments were ‘inappropriate’ and can harm ties between Iran and the Kurdistan Region, adding that the KRG hopes to develop friendly relations with all neighboring countries and the international community.
Burhani noted that he would pass on the KRG’s concerns to senior Iranian officials, according to the DFR’s press release.
The Iranian diplomat stated that both Tehran and Erbil agreed to maintain their relationship at the highest level and that there was a ‘mutual understanding’ between the Kurdistan Region and Iran regarding the current situation.
Over the past two weeks, anti-government protests spread across cities in Iran, prompting the Islamic Republic to respond to growing international scrutiny and put an end to what Tehran described as attempts by its enemies - the US and Israel - to destabilize the country.
The Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region, Nechirvan Barzani, on Sunday called Tehran’s claims that Erbil played a role in sparking the protests “comical” as he spoke to reporters at a press conference in Sulaimani.
In a statement released on the KRG’s website on Saturday, Spokesperson Safeen Dizayee also refuted the allegations by Iranian officials.
“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.
Editing by Nadia Riva