A Peshmerga fighter of the Iranian armed opposition guards a position in Kurdistan Region, only few kilometers away from the Iranian border in April, 2017. Photo: Rudaw TV
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Kurdistan Region is in violation of security arrangements with Tehran when it tolerates activities within its borders of armed Kurdish groups opposed to Iran, said an Iranian commander.
General Ahmadi-Far, spokesperson for Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in western Iran, told Iranian media on Wednesday that the Kurdistan Region must control its border areas where the armed Kurdish groups are, as per a security arrangement between Erbil and Tehran.
Ahmadi-Far claimed they had reminded Kurdish authorities in the joint Erbil-Tehran security committee of their commitments two months ago.
“The real question is either the dissolved groups opposed to the [Islamic] revolution are not complying with the commitments of the Region in the joint committee or the Region does not have the capability to control them,” Ahmadi-Far said.
He added that it is the duty of Iranian diplomats in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region to make sure that the security commitments of the Kurdish region are adhered to.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) condemned
shelling of its territory by Iran on Monday that forced the evacuation of three villages.
The KRG stated on Monday that it would summon the Iranian consul.
"It comes at a time when we are committed to the basis of being good neighbors and not meddling in one another's affairs. We are not party to the problems between the Islamic Republic of Iran and opposition groups," read a statement from the KRG Monday evening.
Ahmadi-Far said it is “meaningless” for the KRG to stay “neutral.”
“Stating neutrality on the issue of the movements of the mobsters against the border areas is against international agreements and conventions, good neighbourliness, as well as mutual security agreements, and is meaningless,” he stated.
Monday’s shelling targeted an area where three Kurdish armed groups opposed to Iran are present, the Iranian Democratic Party of Kurdistan (PDKI or HDKA), Iran's Kurdistan Democratic Party (PDK, HDK), and the Komala party.
Iran has shelled areas inside the Kurdistan Region on several occasions on the pretext of the presence of armed Kurdish groups on its border.
The PDKI, which is considered Iran’s main armed Kurdish party, said in 2015 that it was giving up a two-decade ceasefire with the Iranian government and returning its guerrilla fighters to Iran, but that it would not initiate hostilities unless attacked.
They also rejected a request from the Kurdistan Region last year “to stop armed attacks in Iran,” following rising tensions between Tehran and Erbil over the presence of the Kurdish armed groups in the border areas.
Komala, whose three Peshmerga fighters were killed in clashes with Iranian security forces inside Iran in late June, revealed earlier in the year that it had resumed its armed struggle against Iran, becoming the third Kurdish party to do so since 2015.
Komala vowed that they will “avenge” the killings of their Peshmerga, adding that the time is very close to start a comprehensive armed struggle against Tehran.
Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran, told a senior KRG delegation headed by Interior Minister Karim Sinjari visiting Tehran last year that the stability and security of the border between the Kurdistan Region and Iran is a “redline” for Tehran
“We said we will carry on with our programs. We can no longer confine ourselves to a very limited number of political activities which unfortunately have achieved no results," Hijri said.
Asked about the possibility of being pressured further by the KRG to change tactics, Hijri said then, “Day after day we are planning to decrease the number of fighters we are sending to Iran from the Kurdistan Region, and we are starting to organize people from within Iran. We have this plan that Peshmerga will no longer cross the border. We hope we will reach this stage in the very near future.”
Hassan Sharafi, second-in-command of the PDKI, told Rudaw TV last July that his forces had silenced its guns against Iran for the sake of the Kurdistan Region. But he noted it “is not fair for one part of Kurdistan to sacrifice the interest of all other parts of Kurdistan for its own sake.”