Sulaymaniyah, Asharq Al-Awsat- An Iraqi Kurdish official denied yesterday reports that Iran has set up checkpoints inside Iraq’s Kurdistan and called them in a statement to Asharq Al-Awsat “fabricated” and also denied there is an agreement between Arbil and Tehran on such an arrangement.
According to the reports, Iran erected eight checkpoints along the road that leads from Haji Omran district inside Iraq’s Kurdistan to inside Iranian territories. The same reports said several of these checkpoints are 2 km inside the region’s territories and asserted that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards have also erected around 100 checkpoints all along the borders with the region and encircled them with electrified barbed wire for the purpose of cutting off the routes of smugglers and preventing them from smuggling goods and products that are banned in Iran.
But Major General Jabbar Yawir, the Peshmerga Ministry’s undersecretary and official spokesman of the forces for the protection of the Kurdistan region, denied that such checkpoints were erected inside the region which is part of the Iraqi territories under Iraqi sovereignty. He said “the reports are fabricated and the aim is to create problems, troubles, chaos, and sedition between the two neighborly countries.” He also denied there is any agreement with the Iranian side, either with the federal government in Baghdad or the region’s government, to erect Iranian military checkpoints in the region’s territories.