VIDEO: 'Iran against Kurdish statehood'
WASHINGTON DC, United States (Kurdistan24) – The Atlantic Council Strategy Paper Series recently held a conference in Washington, DC to discuss a newly released paper on US-Iran relations.
Ellen Laipson, Atlantic Council distinguished fellow and president emeritus of the Stimson Center, presented her ten-year vision for tackling the challenges in A New Strategy for US-Iran Relations.
Michael Connell, Director of Iranian Studies Program at the Center for Naval Analyses, told Kurdistan24 Iran would be opposed to Kurdish statehood.
“No, I don’t think Iran will be open to statehood. Certainly not in Syria, and I don’t think in Iraq either,” Connell said.
He mentioned two reasons why Iran would be against Kurdistan’s independence.
First, he pointed to Iran’s relationships with other regional powers who oppose the recognition of Kurdish rights.
“Iran is very closely allied with the government in Baghdad and the government in Damascus. And those governments are very much opposed to an independent Kurdistan,” Connell said.
He also mentioned Iran was trying to control its Kurdish population, and an independent Kurdistan could be a direct threat to Iran as well.
“There has been tension between that population [Iranian Kurds] and the central government. So I think it is concerned about the possibility of ‘a greater Kurdistan,’” he stated.
Moreover, Connell said the US’ nuclear deal with Iran was a good agreement but was limited and had to be expanded.
He clarified Iran’s goal in Syria was to help Bashar Al-Assad regain control over the region, and that Iran was deepening its relationship with Russia.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany
(Abbas Zangana in Washington, DC conducted the interview)