A man sprays red paint in the pockmarks left by shrapnel in the wall of the KDP-I headquarters in Koya. Photo: Safin Hamed/AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Iran’s missile attack on Kurdish parties in Koya was a message to its enemies, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) said.
“The IRGC’s recent revenge against terrorists had a very meaningful message for the enemies, particularly for the superpowers who assume that they can impose their dirty objectives and bullying on us,” Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari said at a funeral in Tehran on Friday, Tasnim news reported.
He touted their stockpile of missiles with an accuracy and range that give Iran “unmatched capabilities.”
The strike on the PDKI and KDP-I was a demonstration of their precision, he explained.
The IRGC fired seven surface-to-surface missiles at the Iranian-Kurdish headquarters in Koya on Saturday. Seventeen people were killed, including several party leaders, and 46 were injured in the attack.
PDKI and KDP-I seek greater political and cultural rights for Kurds in Iran. They resumed their armed struggle against the Iranian regime a couple of years ago.
Tehran frequently accuses the US and Saudi Arabia of backing the parties that are based in the Kurdistan Region.
The US condemned the attack with Vice President Mike Pence calling KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani. And State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert described Iran as a “bad actor in the region,” dubbing the missile strikes “clear violation of Iraq’s sovereignty.”
British Ambassador to Iraq Jonathan Wilks expressed concern about Iran’s threatening language.
“I think it is much better that we talk the language of diplomacy than the language of threats. I don’t think that sort of language is going to have a positive effect. I don’t think it’s going to have a positive effect on Kurds, on Iraqis in general, or on the international community,” he told reporters in Erbil on Thursday.
The UK remains party to the nuclear deal with Iran that the US withdrew from earlier this year and maintains full diplomatic relations with Tehran. Wilks argued that places the UK in an ideal situation to help calm the situation so that Iraq “doesn’t get dragged into this tense atmosphere at the moment between Iran and the United States.”
“But we should make clear that we share, and we share with many countries, concerns about Iran’s role in the region, about its ballistic missile program, about the way it has used the extra resources that it got went sanctions were lifted in recent years. We have to be clear with the Iranians on this,” he said.