ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Bahram Qassemi on Monday rejected claims the Kurdistan Region was involved in the protests that rocked the country last month.
Recently, Iranian Secretary of the Expediency Council, and former IRGC Commander, Mohsen Rezaei’s accused Erbil of orchestrating violent demonstrations that swept across Iran.
“Considering the relationship between Iran and the Kurdistan Region, we don’t think officials in the Kurdistan Region and the Kurdish people would make such a move against the national security of Iran,” Qassemi told reporters during a press conference, rejecting Rezaei’s earlier remarks.
“There is no evidence to support accusations against the Kurdistan Region. An investigation of the situation [protest] needs to be referred to the Iranian security and intelligence departments,” the spokesperson added, noting that Iran acknowledged the importance of Kurdish Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, strongly denouncing the allegations.
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.
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 Province.
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.
The Head of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)’s Department of Foreign Relations (DFR), Falah Mustafa, met with the Iranian Deputy Consul-General in Erbil, Siyamak Burhani on Sunday. Mustafa relayed the government’s concerns over ‘baseless allegations’ accusing the KRG was behind the wide-spread protests in Iran, calling Tehran to provide evidence.
Editing by Nadia Riva