TEHRAN – The Iranian Foreign Ministry has summoned the representative of Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government over a controversial stamp design in Iraqi Kurdistan breaching Iran’s territorial integrity.

Nazem Dabbagh, the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) representative to Tehran, told the Iraqi Kurdish Rudaw news agency that Iranian officials have summoned him over the stamp and informed him that it is “a violation of Iran’s sovereignty.”

The stamp in question raised eyebrows in the region, causing tensions between the KRG and a number of regional countries.

It has two problems: First, there was no Arabic translation of what was written on the stamp, something that drew criticism from some Iraqi groups as Arabic is the official language of Iraq. Second, the stamp featured a map imagining large swathes of Iranian territories – as well as Turkish ones - as part of the Greater Kurdistan, a clear violation of Iran’s territorial integrity.

The stamp was published to commemorate the recent four-day papal visit to Iraq that included a foray into Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, on the third day.

Upon his arrival in Erbil, the pope was welcomed by the president and the prime minister of the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan, as well as civil and religious authorities, according to Vatican News.  He then met with the President of the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan, Nechirvan Barzani, and the Prime Minister, Masrour Barzani at the Presidential VIP Lounge of the airport.

Dabbagh denied that Iran had hinted at any threats, saying, “We made clear to the Iranians that the aforementioned stamp is one of several examples presented by artists.”

According to the Kurdish official, Iran knows that the stamp is not officially presented by the KRG. Dabbagh pointed out that the Iranian official in charge of the Iraq file in the Iranian Foreign Ministry spoke with him respectfully “and asked me for an explanation of what happened, and he told me that he does not wish to delve much into what happened, but this does not serve the interest of the current policy of the Kurdish Regional Government, as it affects Iran's lands, so we want you to provide an explanation.”

Dabbagh said he responded to the Iranian official by saying that the stamp “is not the work of the Kurdish Regional Government, but a group of artists who proposed these models to the Ministry of Transport and Communications, and the Kurdish Regional Government has shown its commitment to the Iraqi constitution and human rights considerations.”

According to Dabbagh, the Iranian Foreign Ministry accepted his clarification and confirmed the delivery of a message to Iraq.

Last week, Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, said that the stamp runs counter to international regulations.

“It’s obvious that what was publicly published goes against international principles and regulations,” Khatibzadeh was quoted by state news IRNA as saying on Wednesday. “We have expressed our objection to the government of Iraq and demanded the immediate recall and correction of this unfriendly act.”

 

https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/459176/Iran-summons-KRG-representatives-over-controversial-stamp

Nazim Dabbagh the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) representative in Tehran had an exclusive interview with TehranTimes, during which he shared his view on General Qassem Soleimani and his role in the fight against terrorism in Iraq.

video : https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/456677/Gen-Soleimani-helped-Kurdistan-to-fight-ISIS

Kurds should not forget Iran's support in fighting against ISIS: representative

 Representative of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Tehran Nazim Dabagh said on Monday, January 25, that the Kurds should not forget the aid provided by Iran during the war against Islamic State (ISIS), arguing that ISIS would have occupied Baghdad if it were not for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani.

Dabagh told NRT in an interview that when the Peshmerga and advisors from the IRGC arrived in the Hamrin Mountains, Soleimani said to the Peshmerga “here is Hamrin Mountain; this is your border, defend it for Mam Jalal,” referring to the late Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) leader Jalal Talabani.
Earlier this week, the Masir media agency in Iran released a short film featuring a dramatized version of Soleimani’s cooperation with the Kurdistan Region during the ISIS war, which provoked intense criticism from the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) for its depiction of party leader Masoud Barzani.
Dabagh, who is a member of the PUK, said that the KDP has the strongest ties with Iran of all of the political parties in the Kurdistan Region, but added that the film concerned the KRG and noted that the depiction of Barzani had been condemned by some Iranian officials.
“The Iranian government has promised us to follow up about the release of the film and that the release of the film about Masoud Barzani has not been done by an official organ of the Iranian government,” he said.
Reporter's code: 50101

 

https://kurdpress.com/en/news/392/Kurds-should-not-forget-Iran's-support-in-fighting-against-ISIS:-representative/

 

SULAIMANI – A rumor circulated over the involvement of a counterterrorism unit affiliated with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) in killing an Iranian commander is part of a conspiracy by some sides to sow sedition among the Kurds and between the party and Iran, a senior official said on Sunday (May 9).
 
On Saturday, an article was issued by Yahoo News titled “Conspiracy is hard': Inside the Trump administration's secret plan to kill Qassem Soleimani” reportedly detailed how top Iranian Middle East commander Qaseim Soleimani was killed in US drone strike at Baghdad international Airport in early January 2020.
 
The news article alleged that the PUK-affiliated Counterterrorism Group (CTG) abetted the assassination, but the CTG on Sunday denied involvement described the accusation as an attempt by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) to distract the public opinion over trending legal case. 
 
“I see the publication of a report regarding the killing of Qasseim Soleimani and involvement of the PUK counterterrorism in the issue as a misleading attempt,” Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Representative in Iran Nazim Dabagh told Zhyan News network.  “Such things have happened in the past several times.”
 
“If such news and reports had been true, the Islamic Republic of Iran would have warned the PUK or the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG),” Dabagh.
 
The official, who is on the PUK share, said that he had not been summoned by the Iranian authorities over the issue.
 
“I think Iran is more aware and its intelligence higher to fall to such misleading news,” Dabagh said.
 
He also mentioned a recent visit by Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif to the Kurdistan Region and his gratitude to “the Kurdistan side for support in all the fields.”
 

 

(Zhyan English)
https://zhyan.co/En/News.aspx?id=858&MapID=1

TEHRAN, Jan. 04 (MNA) – Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) representative in Tehran says that martyr. Gen. Qassem Soleimani helped Iraqi Kurdistan by sending weapons and military advisers to defeat ISIL.

 

 

Describing Iran’s role in the fight against terrorism as “vital” and effective”, KRG representative in Tehran reiterated that martyr. Gen. Qassem Soleimani helped Iraqi Kurdistan by sending weapons and military advisers to defeat ISIL.

“Martyr Qassem Soleimani not only helped in the framework of consultation but also in the battlefield,” Nazim Dabbagh tells the Tehran Times. “We are thankful and appreciative for Iran’s advisory presence and its arms aid to eliminate the Daesh threat from Erbil.”

The following is the text of the interview:

How do you assess the role of Iran and General Qassem Soleimani in supporting the Iraqi Kurdish Region to confront ISIL (Daesh)? Kurdish leaders say that Qassem Soleimani provided weapons for Arbil when Daesh invaded Iraq.

As you mentioned, in fact, the officials of the Iraqi Kurdistan, including Mr. Massoud Barzani, have emphasized that Iran's role in the fight against terrorism in Iraq has been vital and important.

Martyr Qassem Soleimani did not only help in the framework of consultation, but also in the battlefield. He helped the Iraqi Kurdistan in its combat against terrorism. We are thankful and appreciative for Iran’s advisory presence and its arms aid to eliminate the Daesh threat from Erbil.

Given the geopolitical situation in West Asia and the looming threats in the region, how do you assess Iran's role in stabilizing and combating terrorism?

Iran has a special position due to its geopolitical situation in the region, especially in the war against terrorism including Daesh. Tehran played an important role.

Indeed, the Islamic Republic of Iran has historically played this role, both during the 8-year war imposed by Saddam Hussein and in the midst of the war against Daesh. Iran has played a constructive role that has brought security and stability to the region.

I have said many times that if it were not for Iran, after the fall of Mosul, Daesh could have captured Baghdad as well as the Kurdistan region, but fortunately, the Islamic Republic and other allies made every effort to be helpful and effective which are commendable.

Iran has been a victim of terrorism since the victory of the Islamic Revolution and has gained valuable experience in this regard. What are the significance and effect of efforts made by commanders such as Martyr Soleimani to contain the chaotic situation in the region?

Iran, especially after the victory of the Islamic Revolution and years of experience in fighting terrorism and confronting various enemies, could create a kind of solidarity and unity among people.

In one of Soleimani’s speeches, I heard him spoke about the role of martyrs and leadership in deterring enemies. In his view, the leadership plays a pivotal role in mobilizing the people to support the revolution and help it to continue and defeats its foes, because the people need leaders on the battlefield who are brave and wise, as Soleimani was. This experience made peoples of the region always ready to fight terrorism under the command of leaders such as Martyr Qassem Soleimani, and we have witnessed this fact.

What characteristics did make General Soleimani popular in the region and make him attract people with different religions and views?

If we want to talk about the characteristics and personality of people like Qassem Soleimani, we must mention that he was a faithful person, honest, brave.

Until the day he was martyred, he believed in his cause and was proud of it. I remember one day some of his friends warned him about the US attempts to assassinate him and called on him to be more careful. He laughed and said that we are made for martyrdom and we are waiting to see when we will be martyred. These characteristics were the reason for his popularity. He did not pursue personal interests or power, but rather fought for his goals and aspirations.

Why did some Western states like the U.S put someone like Qassem Soleimani, who was fighting Daesh, on the list of terrorists?

Defining terrorism or attributing terrorism to a country or person, or accusing a country or person of supporting terrorism, is made based on the interests of countries. Western and European countries have one policy and Iran has another, but in general, I think the people are entitled to give a real definition.

When the people of Iran or Iraq are satisfied with their own governments, it makes the Western definition unreliable. It is the stance and approval of the people of a country that rejects or approves these definitions.

How do you describe Qassem Soleimani's relations with Kurdish leaders and Kurdish groups or organizations?

My acquaintance with martyr General Qassem Soleimani dates back to 1991 after the uprising of the people of Kurdistan. Certainly, his politico-military position led to good relations with the officials, leaders, and political groups of the Kurdistan region.

These relations were to such an extent that when martyr Soleimani was seen with one of the Kurdish leaders, especially Mr. Talabani and Mr. Barzani, we did not feel distant, but we felt a sense of friendship and honesty.

First Time Published in Tehran Times

 

 
 
https://en.mehrnews.com/news/168047/KRG-rep-says-Gen-Soleimani-helped-Kurdistan-to-fight-ISILNews Code 168047

Kurdistan Region President meets with Iraq’s Parliament Speaker

 Erbil, Kurdistan Region, May 3, 2021

Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani received Mr. Muhammad Al-Halbousi, the Speaker of Iraq’s Parliament, in Erbil on Monday.

Discussions covered the developments in the country, the upcoming general elections and their anticipated impact on the political process in Iraq, Erbil-Baghdad relations, the threat of ISIS and its recent movements, cooperation and coordination among the parties to ensure security and stability, and the situation in the wider region.

The importance of collective national efforts of all parties to confront the challenges facing the country and surpassing the crises was reaffirmed. It was underlined that unity and consensus paves the way for lasting peace and stability in Iraq. The two sides also expressed hope that the upcoming elections will meet the aspirations of people for stability, improved public services and livelihoods for all citizens.

 

 

 

Kurdistan Region President receives UK Ambassador to Iraq

 Erbil, Kurdistan Region, April 21, 2021

Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani received United Kingdom’s Ambassador to Iraq, Mr. Stephen Hickey, and his accompanying delegation, in Erbil on Wednesday.

Discussions included ISIS resurgence and its threats against stability and peace in the country. President Nechirvan Barzani commended the important role of the International Coalition in supporting Iraq and the Kurdistan Region against terrorism, the complete elimination of ISIS networks, and the need for coordination and cooperation between Erbil and Baghdad with the coalition partners.

The President underlined the importance of a common vision for all parties in Iraq to improve the living conditions of fellow citizens following past years economic downfalls and hardships.

The UK delegation expressed concerns over the attacks that targeted the Kurdistan Region recently, especially the city of Erbil, and strongly condemned the attacks which undermine peace and stability in Iraq.

Other topics of discussions included the relations of Iraq and the Kurdistan Region with the United Kingdom, the President’s recent visit to Baghdad and Erbil-Baghdad relations. The meeting valued the ratification of the Iraqi Budget Law and the agreement on the issue of the Federal Court.

Discussions also covered the efforts of the Kurdistan Region Presidency to bring the political parties together, the upcoming Iraqi elections, the role of the international community in solving the problems of Iraq, strengthening state institutions and benefiting from international support, the economic situation of Iraq, the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and the status of the displaced people and refugees hosted in camps in Kurdistan Region.

 

President Nechirvan Barzani reaffirms the need for a common vision for the future of Iraq

Baghdad, Iraq, April 12, 2021

On the third and last day of his visit to Baghdad, Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani held separate meetings with the leaders of the Iraqi political parties and groups, including Mr. Salim al-Jubouri, Head of the Civil Assembly for Reform, Mr. Adel Abdul-Mahdi, former Prime Minister, Mr. Hammam Hammoudi, Head of the Islamic Supreme Council, Mr. Iyad Allawi, Secretary General of the National Accord Party, and Khamis al-Khanjar, Head of the al-Azm Alliance.

During these meetings, discussions focused on the latest political and security developments in the country, the upcoming Iraqi elections, the Kurdistan Region’s relations with the Iraqi Federal Government, dialogue to solve the problems of Erbil-Baghdad, the dangers of ISIS and Iraq’s relations with the countries of the region and the world.

President Nechirvan Barzani stressed in the meetings that his vision for the resolution of the issues in Iraq, requires the need for political parties and communities in the country to reach a common vision and understanding for the future of Iraq that includes stability, coexistence, and mutual respect. In order to achieve this objective, everyone must learn from the mistakes and experiences of the past. The President referred to Baghdad as the strategic partner of the Kurdistan Region to solve the outstanding problems.

The President reaffirmed that eighteen years have passed since the fall of the former Iraqi regime and the building of the new Iraq, the transitional phase, must come to an end and a new phase be launched in the country in which the human and natural wealth of Iraq be utilized for further reconstruction of the country, to provide enhanced services to all Iraqi’s throughout the country and to restore Iraq and its position at the regional and global levels.

In this context, Iraq’s leaders shared President Nechirvan Barzani’s opinion to work with a common vision for a better future for Iraq, and agreed that with the existing political will and a common understanding, obstacles can be removed before the political process, as shown in the case of the passage of the Iraqi Budget Bill, the amendment of the Federal Supreme Court Law and the laws concerning dissolution of the parliament.

The Iraqi groups and parties viewed President Nechirvan Barzani’s visit to Baghdad as an opportunity to resume the contact among political groups and their joint work to move the country towards a better position that would ensure stability, reconstruction, progress and partnership with all sides in the political process and management of the country on the basis of citizenship and common interests. Iraq’s leaders expressed hope that the visit yields genuine results and that such visits and meetings continue to unify common positions and build a basis for mutual understanding.

 

 

 

 

 

President Nechirvan Barzani and Iraq’s Prime Minister Kadhimi meet in Baghdad

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, April 10, 2021

Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani met with the Prime Minister of Iraq, Mr. Mustafa Kadhimi, in Baghdad on Saturday.

Discussions focused on cooperation and coordination between the institutions of the Federal Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) within the framework of the constitution and efforts to confront terrorism and criminal activities in the country. The two sides also discussed the status of the Shingal district, public health and ways to contain COVID-19 pandemic, the recent rise in COVID-19 cases and efforts to secure vaccines for the public.

Prime Minister Kadhimi commended the progress in establishing the appropriate mechanism for implementation of constitutional procedures. The Prime Minister referred to the agreement on the Federal Court and the passage of Budget Bill in the parliament and expressed hope that the bill is implemented fully and fairly.

The Prime Minister reiterated the need to strengthen cooperation between Baghdad and Erbil in a way that ensures peace and stability in the country and fills all the security vacuums that can be taken advantage of by terror and criminal groups.

Prime Minister Kadhimi reaffirmed that the frequent visits by President Nechirvan Barzani to Baghdad is signalling the right message to all Iraqis and establishes trust and encourages constructive cooperation and coordination in all areas in the service of the entire country. The Prime Minister also referred to his upcoming trip to the Kurdistan Region.

President Nechirvan Barzani expressed delight at visiting Baghdad and commended the Iraqi Prime Minister’s diplomatic and economic efforts which have strengthened Iraq’s position internationally.

President Nechirvan Barzani also shed light on the resolution of the disputes and strengthening of security cooperation. The President reiterated support for the federal government and state institutions to confront the current challenges.

Kurdistan Region President commended the passage of the Budget Bill in the Iraqi Parliament and reiterated that the resolution of the pending issues between Erbil and Baghdad will lead to further stability and prosperity in Iraq.

Other topics of discussion included the President’s recent visit to France, joint efforts to confront terror threats and ISIS, the mission of the International Coalition in Iraq, the upcoming Iraq elections, the sitution in the wider region and other topics of mutual interest.

Both sides reiterated the importance of cooperation among all sides in Iraq to surpass the problems and the crises and expressed hope that the passage of the Budget Bill will support the resolution of differences between Baghdad and Erbil. Both sides reaffirmed the significance of cooperation and coordination between the Peshmarga and Iraqi forces and the support of the International Coalition in confronting ISIS threats.

President Nechirvan Barzani reiterated that the Kurdistan Region is ready to resolve all the existing disputes with the Federal Government on the basis of constitution and within the framework of the federal system. The President underlined the Kurdistan Region’s willingness to work together with all sides in Iraq in order to secure peace and stability in the country. The President underlined that the resolution of Kurdistan Region’s pending issues with the Federal Government is the key to peace and stability in Iraq.

 

 

President Nechirvan Barzani meets with leaders of political parties

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, April 8, 2021

Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani met with the leaders of political parties of the Kurdistan Region on Thursday.

At the meeting, attended by the Kurdistan Region Vice Presidents, the developments in Iraq and the greater region, the foreign and diplomatic relations of the Kurdistan Region and the upcoming Iraqi elections were discussed.

President Nechirvan Barzani’s recent visit to France, the Kurdistan Region’s role and position in regards to the new political conditions and the relations between Erbil and Baghdad were highlighted. Discussions also focused on the Iraq-US strategic dialogue including the Kurdistan Region’s participation in the ongoing talks, the developments in the Region and the relations among communities and the political parties.

The meeting reaffirmed the importance of unity and consensus among political parties in order to reach lasting solutions to the differences, and in this regard, the Kurdistan Region Presidency was lauded for its efforts to bring the political parties together.

The passage of the Iraqi Budget Bill was highlighted as a positive step towards improving the relations between the Kurdistan Region and the Federal Government. It was underlined that the implementation of the Budget Bill is essential for the economic recovery in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region with its positive impact on the resolution of the problems between Baghdad and Erbil on the basis of the constitution and within the framework of the federal system.

It was stressed that the current situation in the Kurdistan Region requires unity, national responsibility, cooperation and consensus in order to secure the constitutional rights of the people of Kurdistan Region and preserve their hard won achievements. The importance of the reform process, collective efforts to improve the livelihood of citizens and preserve their freedoms including freedom of expression, and ways to continue joint meetings among all political parties were affirmed.

President Nechirvan Barzani thanked the political parties for accepting his invitation to the meeting and reiterated that the only way to overcome the crises and differences is through collective efforts and unity which also ensures the rights and achievements and preserves the constitutional and federal entity of the Kurdistan Region. The President reaffirmed that the Kurdistan Region Presidency will continue to be a unifying factor for all.

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