Iran to support efforts by Iraq and Kurds to resolve dispute

Nechirvan Barzani, prime minister of Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), speaks during a press conference in the northern Iraqi city of Arbil. (AFP)
Updated 21 January 2018
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Iran to support efforts by Iraq and Kurds to resolve dispute

TEHRAN: Iranian officials on Sunday voiced support for efforts to end a dispute in neighboring Iraq sparked by a Kurdish referendum on independence last year and underscored the need for Iraqi unity.
President Hassan Rouhani and the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, made the comments during talks in Tehran with the prime minister of Iraq’s Kurdish autonomous region.
Rouhani told Nechirvan Barzani that Tehran backs “a united Iraq” in which “the legal and legitimate rights” of the Kurdish people are recognized in line with the constitution, the presidency said.
Shamkhani said Tehran “will do everything in its power to support efforts to ease the differences” between Baghdad and the Kurdish regional capital Irbil, official IRNA news agency reported.
Iraq’s Kurds voted overwhelmingly in September to establish their own country but the non-binding vote was deemed illegal by the federal government in Baghdad which took retaliatory measures.
The referendum was also condemned in neighboring Iran and Turkey.
On Saturday, Barzani met Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi in Baghdad for the first time since the failed push by the Kurds to secede.
A statement from Abadi’s office said they discussed the “political and security situation and ways of settling disputes.”
After September’s vote, Baghdad imposed an air blockade on international flights to the Kurdish autonomous region’s two main airports and retook disputed areas, including oil fields from which the Kurds derived the bulk of their revenue.
Shamkhani said Tehran hoped to “contribute to the success” of the dialogue that has opened between Baghdad and Irbil.


Jordan links deadly blasts to militant cell

Updated 15 February 2019
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Jordan links deadly blasts to militant cell

  • Analysis of the site found the blasts were caused by "homemade explosives buried in the ground matching the type used by a terrorist cell in Al-Fuhais" last August
  • The Salt region was the scene of heavy clashes between gunmen and security forces after the attack which targeted a security patrol at a music festival

AMMAN: Jordan said Friday that two deadly explosions which rocked the Salt region northwest of the capital Amman were apparently linked to a militant cell.
A security source had previously told AFP that old mines were behind Thursday's blasts which killed a farmer and three members of the security forces.
But analysis of the site found the blasts were caused by "homemade explosives buried in the ground matching the type used by a terrorist cell in Al-Fuhais" last August, government spokeswoman Jumana Ghneimat said.
She was referring to an August 11 bomb attack on a security patrol in the nearby town of Al-Fuhais that killed a police sergeant and wounded six others.
The Salt region was the scene of heavy clashes between gunmen and security forces after the attack which targeted a security patrol at a music festival.
Four security force members and three "terrorists" were killed during a raid on a militant hideout a day after the blast.