Arbil, Asharq Al-Awsat- Falah Mustafa, head of the foreign relations department in the Kurdistan Region Government, has denied reports that “two Kurdish spies “who were trained in the region were sent to Iran and stressed that the region’s government is eager to establish good relations with neighboring countries and specifically with Iran. According to Kurdish sources, the official Iranian television aired the confessions of two persons it said “are two Kurdish spies who were trained in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region and sent to Iran to spy on the Iranian Republic.” The region’s government denied in an official statement yesterday the validity of these confessions and asserted “they were baseless and the region did not and will not interfere in Iran’s internal affairs.”
Mustafa told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Kurdistan Region Government “stressed and stresses that it is eager to establish the best relations with all neighboring countries and specifically the Islamic Republic with which we are bound by close historic ties and that it will not interfere in the internal affairs of Iran or any other neighboring country. It reiterated that these confessions are baseless and have nothing to do with the region’s government.” Asked if hidden hands were seeking to make relations between the region and Tehran tense, he said “there might be hidden tendentious hands but our primary interest is to assert to our friends in the Islamic Republic our desire for the permanence and strengthening of our bilateral relations that have been based on mutual respect for a long time and the prevention of any attempt to disturb these relations.” After stressing that the region’s government is determined to continue its firm policy based on respecting the sovereignty of neighboring countries, and specifically Tehran, he said “it will not allow any party or person to use the region’s territories as a base for harming Iran or any neighboring country.”
Iran has been shelling intermittently the strongholds of the opposition Iranian Party of Free Life in Kurdistan (PEJAK) in the areas abutting the borders with Iraq’s Kurdistan Region. Kurdish politicians had called for the cessation of this shelling which they said was targeting Kurdish villages and urged the Baghdad government to intervene and stop this artillery bombardment.