Iran Guards confirm missile strikes on Kurd rebels in Iraq

The IRGC says it was behind missile attack on Iraq-based Kurdish dissidents. (File/AFP)
Updated 09 September 2018
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Iran Guards confirm missile strikes on Kurd rebels in Iraq

  • Iran attacked the base of an Iranian Kurdish armed opposition group in northern Iraq on Saturday
  • Iran’s Revolutionary Guard fired seven missiles in an attack on Iraq-based Iranian Kurdish dissidents that killed at least 11 people

TEHRAN: Iran’s Revolutionary Guards confirmed Sunday they had launched deadly missile strikes against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq the previous day.
“The terrorists’ headquarters... was successfully struck by seven surface-to-surface rockets on Saturday by the missile department of the Guards’ aerospace force,” it said on its Sepah News website.
The statement added that their drone division was also involved.
Fifteen people were killed in the rare cross-border attack on the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran, which is blacklisted as a “terrorist” group by Tehran, a KDPI spokesman, Soran Louri, told AFP on Sunday.
Around 30 others were injured, according to local medical sources.
Iranian state television showed images of the missiles being launched and drone footage of the impact.
“The punishment of transgressors was planned following the recent months’ wicked acts by terrorists from the Kurdistan realm against the Islamic republic’s borders,” the Guards’ statement said.
It cited incursions by numerous “terrorist teams” into Iran’s West Azarbaijan, Kurdistan and Kermanshah provinces bordering Iraq.
The KDPI had recently clashed with Revolutionary Guards forces in the towns of Marivan and Kamyaran in Iran’s own Kurdistan region, the statement added.
The Kurdish group was holding a meeting at the time of the missile strikes, and the party’s secretary general and his predecessor were injured, according to one of its officials.
The headquarters is in Koysinjaq, around 60 kilometers (35 miles) east of Irbil, capital of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region.
Iraq’s foreign ministry denounced the Iranian missile strike.
“Iraq protects the security of its neighbors and does not allow its territory to be used to threaten these countries,” spokesman Ahmed Mahjoub said in a statement.
“But it categorically rejects the violation of its territorial sovereignty by strikes against certain targets on its territory with previous coordination,” he added.
The KDPI is Iran’s oldest Kurdish movement and has seen several of its leaders assassinated by Tehran in the past.


Gulf Arab states should be party to proposed Iran treaty talks - UAE official

Updated 20 September 2018
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Gulf Arab states should be party to proposed Iran treaty talks - UAE official

CAIRO: Washington’s Gulf Arab allies should be included in proposed treaty negotiations with Iran over its ballistic missile program and regional behavior, a senior Emiriati official said on Thursday.
Brian Hook, US special envoy for Iran, said on Wednesday the United States is seeking to negotiate a treaty with Iran to include Tehran’s ballistic missiles and its regional behavior.
Iran has rejected US attempts to hold high-level talks since President Donald Trump tore up a nuclear deal between Tehran and six world powers earlier this year.
Anwar Gargash, United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, described Hook’s comments as “important.”
“It is essential that the Gulf Arab states be a party to the proposed negotiations. It is prudent for Tehran to avoid sanctions and to take these proposals seriously,” he tweeted.
The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain swiftly backed Trump’s decision in May to withdraw from the nuclear accord and reimpose sanctions on Tehran.
The Gulf Arab states were not party to the nuclear accord, and while they were consulted by Western powers during the talks that led up to it, they played no direct role in those negotiations.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listed a dozen demands in May that he said could make up a new agreement, although Hook referred to a treaty, which would have to be approved by the US Senate.