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Rudaw

Kurdistan

Kurdish Premier and Iran Discuss Iraq as Rebels Advance on Baghdad

By Rudaw 16/6/2014
Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani (L) with Ali Shamkhani, head of Iran's National Security Council. Photo: FARS
Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani (L) with Ali Shamkhani, head of Iran's National Security Council. Photo: FARS

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Kurdistan Region Premier Nechirvan Barzani is in Tehran to discuss events in Iraq, where the jihadi Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has seized large Sunni territories and is marching toward Baghdad to topple the Shiite-led government.

Iran’s Mehr news agency reported that the Kurdish leader will discuss the ISIS “terrorist group” with Iranian officials. It noted he would also meet with Iranian defense authorities, including top military chief Ali Shamkhani, who heads the Supreme National Security Council.

Barzani’s unannounced visit takes place as the Iranian government considers supporting Baghdad against Islamic extremists who have taken the second-largest city of Mosul and remain only about 100 kilometers north of Baghdad.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has denied reports that some of Tehran’s  elite Quds forces are in Iraq to help bolster Iraqi Prime Miniser Nouri al- Maliki, a fellow Shiite. But he said, "If the Iraqi government wants us to help, we will consider it."

 

Meanwhile, the Kurdistan Region’s Peshmerga military is seen as the only force inside Iraq capable of stopping the rebels, who say their aim in Baghdad is to topple the pro-Iranian Maliki.

Reports say that even the United States, which backs Maliki but has no relations with arch-enemy Iran, wants to meet with Tehran officials to discuss – and possibly coordinate – efforts to thwart the militant march.

The Iraqi army has all but collapsed since abandoning posts and fleeing when the extremists marched on Mosul last week. 

Iran holds immense sway among all groups in Iraq, where it is generally believed able to impose its will.

Iraq’s pro-Iranian Shiite authorities have issued a religious call for all Shiites to take up arms against the Sunni extremists.

But the Kurds have said that the only way out of the current crisis is for all of Iraq’s major components – Shiite Arabs, Sunnis and Kurds – to form a council, and continue their political process through parliament.

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Melisa  Mardin
Melisa Mardin | 16/6/2014
I think Barzani's first & ONLY priority should be the safety of the Kurds in that region. And Iran should stop waging a war against the Sunnis, we all are MUSLIMS! This is all America's doings! We Muslims should unite not fight each other! I'm so angry at the stupidity of Muslims!
KurdishNationalist | 16/6/2014
Whatever iranian propose, the KRG must do opposite since those dirty shias cannot be trusted. They are after their own interest, we should not listen to them. The dirty/coward arabs especially shias started this war in syria and iraq and now let them finish it. F***k them all, let them kill each other. As a matter fact, the isis should stop the water flowing through Anbar and Ninewa provinces to the center and south. That way the shias could really be affected and will not able to crop rice, wheat, vegetables, etc...
KIM | 16/6/2014
Now that Iran has expressed its willingness to cooperate with Obamas admin on its nuclear progeams, they share the same goals and interests in Iraq one of which is to prevent the establishment of an independent South Kurdistan which they are dreaming. They maybe able to delay it for a while but can never deprive us of our right . In our point of view we should work on building the infrastructure in Kirkuk and Kurdish areas for now and merely focus on extending basic services to its citizens but should the state of affairs shift in our disinterest, then we should be ready to take uniletral steps. We must maintain our neutrality in wars as much as possible. Kurds in all 4 parts should rely on one another. Their destiny is tied together. Iran, Turkey, Syria, Iraq and USA are not Kurds reliable Allies. Russia maybe!
rob | 16/6/2014
Where is the kurdistan flag. If they don't recognise us we will make things for them difficult in Iraq
Shexmus Amed | 16/6/2014
'KurdishNationalist', stop trolling.
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