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PUK Official: Iran is Not Behind Demonstrations in Iraq

ERBIL - It is not possible for Iran to be behind the demonstrations going on in southern pasts of Iraq as it does not serve Tehran's foreign policies, a Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) official said on Wednesday.  

Nazim Dabbagh, who also serves as the Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) representative to Tehran, told BasNews that the current situation in Iraq "is not what the Islamic Republic favours".

"It actually is what the terrorist organization of Daesh seeks. Look how the Daesh's [terrorist] activities have increased in Iraq. Is Iran behind the Daesh's activities?," the PUK official argued, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State (IS).

He noted that any political tensions in Iraq affects Iran, as well since Iraq is a Shi'ite country.

Meanwhile, Sky News cited an Iraqi official who spoke on condition of anonymity, as saying that Tehran is indirectly behind the protests in Iraq.

"What Tehran has done is part of Iran's political blackmail on Iraq," the official told the news agency, referring to the Islamic Republic's cut-off of electricity used to be imported by Iraq.

The official believed that Iran wants to use the issue of the electricity as a political pressure card against Iraq as Tehran, according to the official, needs a consumption of 42,000 megawatts for domestic areas while it currently produces a total of 58,000 megawatts.

 

 

 

President Barzani Meets with Iraq's Defense Minister

Salahadin, Kurdistan Region of Iraq, (Krp.org)- President Masoud Barzani received an Iraqi ministry of Defense delegation headed by Mr. Khaled al-Obaidi, the Minister of Defense. The meeting was initiated by the Minister offering his congratulations on the Peshmerga forces' victory in the Sinjar operation last week which resulted in the liberation of the twon of Sinjar. The minister sated that the Sinjar operation was indeed a crucial turning point in the collective war against the terrorists of the Islamic State.

President Barzani and Minister al-Obaidi spoke of the current state of the ongoing and upcoming operations against the terrorists of the Islamic State. They stressed on the importance of solidifying the coordination between the Peshmerga forces and other parts of the Iraqi military system in order to further expedite the liberation of other Iraqi locales which are still in the hands of the terrorists. 

Fouad Ma’soum: Balkanization of Iraq is Impossible/ the Importance of Iran’s Help to Fight ISIS

Mehr News Agency carried out a written interview with the president of Iraq, Fouad Ma’soum of which outlines follow:

In the response to the first question relating to the cooperation between Iran and Iraq, regarding their competition in OPEC, Fouad Ma’soum said: the relations between Iran and Iraq has during past years gone past convergence and reached a common action which is the founder of strong relations accordance with constructive agreement and cooperation between two countries. He added: oil policy of Iran and Iraq as two members of OPEC has to be obedient of taken decisions according to this organization. Iraq tries the unity of members of OPEC and agreement as the main discipline in the organization operation.

 

Fouad Ma’soum, in a response to a question about Iraqi government’s look toward security arrangement and the role of transregional countries like America and England in this arrangement, said: the policy of Iraq is accordance with peaceful coexistence and its priority is security and healthy in a convergent regional environment in order to improve and peace. All the regional countries have the right to create their international strategic relations with whether America, England, European countries, Russia or China according to what they wish to. However what is important for us as neighboring countries desiring to meet coexistence principle is not to enter those coalitions which tend to balkanize the region and no to use the our strategic relations with great countries in the field of offending and causing insecurity among neighboring countries in the region.

 

Pointing the existence of intelligence center in Baghdad shared with Iran, Russia, Syria and Iraq, Mehr News Agency, relating to develop these cooperation and possibility for Iraq to demand Moscow in order to raise airstrikes from Syria to Iraq, asked Fouad Ma-soum. He replied that there is the possibility to cooperate with these countries. We are totally prepared to constructively cooperate to destroy terrorism getting a universal threat that we all are suffering; this treat is not limited just to a country or region. Humanity responsibility makes such cooperation occurs. Intelligence cooperation and synchronization among given countries have occurred and are ongoing and this is vital. But I do not believe that in present conditions Baghdad like Syria will ask Russia to attack ISIS in Iraq.

 

Concerning balancing policy in foreign policy of Iraq, among countries supporting terrorism and its opponents, Ma’soum said: this principle is true and we follow it. Many countries gradually understand the effect of this has opted by Iraq even at different times. Our relations with Saudi Arabia are developing but slowly. To slowly develop is better than nothing. Saudi Arabia has offered a $ 500 million help to Iraq; we came to an agreement to develop bilateral relations in our recent trip to Riyadh when visiting the Saudi king. In addition there has been a proper space to exchange information about terrorists’ movements between interior secretaries of Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

 

About balkanization of Iraq, cited by some America like Joe Biden, the president said: this is untrue and unreal. Never have such issue put in any meeting, conference or negotiations. We have not heard such talking from any sides; they are just media uproar. Furthermore relating to National Guard of Iraq and its effect on the army Ma’soum was asked and he replied: it was put accordance with the agreement among political fractions as current government got formed and it related general commander of armed forces of Iraq so called the P.M. the job of national guard of Iraq covers all over the country, not special regions. He also, about the role of public forces of Iraq fighting against Takfirists, said: volunteer public forces have been organized to fight ISIS in Iraq and as it is known this occurred by Ayatollah Sistani’s judgment after ISIS’s sudden attack to Iraq and Mosul’s fall. The purpose of formation of these forces was to defend Baghdad and other cities of Iraq; therefore public forces along with armed forces, Peshmerga and volunteers have patriotic mission to fight ISIS in the direction of defending Iraq and freeing tons and countries occupied. It is not possible to discard public forces for fighting ISIS since they are carrying out a national role they have been assigned.  

 

 

 

Prime Minister Barzani and Al-Shahristani discuss the situation in Iraq

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) - Kurdistan Region Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, yesterday received Hussain al-Shahristani, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research in the Federal Government of Iraq.

The two sides discussed the current political, military and security situation in Iraq, as well as the economic and financial situation in the country. They also discussed the relations between Erbil and Baghdad, and ways to address the outstanding problems.

In the meeting, which was also attended by Dr Fuad Hussein, Chief of Staff of Kurdistan Region President, Prime Minister Barzani briefed the Iraqi Minister about the war against the Islamic State terrorist organisation, ISIS, in the Kurdistan Region and the progress made by Peshmerga forces.

Prime Minister Barzani also talked in details about the economic situation and the financial crisis and its repercussions in the Kurdistan Region.

Mr. Hussain al-Shahristani visited Kurdistan Region, representing the Prime Minister of Iraq, Mr. Haider al-Abadi, to attend the consecration ceremony of His Holiness Patriarch Gewargis Sliwa, the new Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, which was held in Saint Yohana Church in Ainkawa district of Erbil.

KRP Welcomes Baghdad's Reform Decisions

Through a statement issued by the spokesperson of the Kurdistan Region Presidency, the KRP welcomes the new attempts at reform in the institutions of the Iraqi government.

The statement also added that the Kurdistan Region will continue to support such efforts by the Council of Ministers in Baghdad provided that the efforts are mindful of the participation of the Kurdistan Region. The statement concluded by stating that the decisions regarding the reform process ought to be within the framework of the Constitution.

The United Kingdom supports settlement of differences between Erbil and Baghdad

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krg) - Kurdistan Region Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, yesterday received Ambassador Frank Baker, United Kingdom ambassador to Iraq and his accompanying delegation.

Ambassador Baker highlighted bilateral relations between Kurdistan Region and United Kingdom in all the fields, particularly the commercial and economic areas.

The two sides discussed the situation in Iraq in general and the fight against the Islamic State terrorist organisation, ISIS, in particular.
Ambassador Baker reiterated UK support for the Peshmerga Forces in the war against terrorism, praising their role and that of the people and government of Kurdistan Region in confronting and repulsing the terrorist threat.

He also pointed to the differences between Kurdistan Region and Iraqi Federal Government, as well as the Region’s internal issues, particularly the Kurdistan Region Presidency Law, stressing the need for solving those issues through dialog, common understanding, and consensus.

Ambassador Baker expressed his support and collaboration for the settlement of these issues.

Prime Minister Barzani thanked the UK delegation for the visit, expressing his hope that bilateral relations between Kurdistan Region and United Kingdom will witness further development in all the fields.

He highlighted the continuous victories marked by the Peshmerga Forces in the war against ISIS. Meantime, he called for further military aid for Peshmerga forces from European countries, particularly the United Kingdom.

Regarding the differences with the Iraqi Federal Government, Prime Minister Barzani reiterated that Kurdistan Regional Government aims to solve the issues through dialog and negotiations.

Regarding the issue of the Kurdistan Region Presidency Law, he reiterated that it should be settled on the basis of consensus and mutual understanding, and that all the political sides should reach an outcome that is in the general interests of the Kurdistan Region.

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