Saturday, August 25, 2007

Iran's Kurdish Angle

Discussions of Iran's role in Iraq usually forget that they're not just supporting some Shi'ite groups, but opposed to Kurdish nationalists. The latter position gives them a common cause with Turkey:
"Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül voiced support for a possible cross-border operation by neighboring Iran into Iraq to fight a wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) there, saying countries have the right to defend their borders.

"'Unfortunately, terrorists have the ability to operate in Iraq's north due to a power vacuum in Iraq,' Gül told a press conference after talks with Iraqi Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi in Ankara after he was asked to comment on reports that Iran was preparing for an incursion into Iraq. 'They pose a threat to Turkey as well as to other neighbors. Therefore, every country has the right to defend its borders and take legitimate measures for its own security,' he said.

"News reports on Iraqi Kurdish Web sites and Turkish agencies said Iran's army crossed the border into neighboring Iraq and shelled the Kandil Mountain located in northern Iraq, where PEJAK, the Iranian wing of the PKK, has camps.

"Iranian troops penetrated five kilometers into Iraqi territory causing massive material damage, the Anatolia news agency said yesterday. Similar reports were released by Iraqi Kurdish Web sites on Thursday, which quoted local officials in the region as saying Iran has launched a 'full-scale war.'"

(Crossposted to American Footprints)

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