On the ninth of the curent April , the Iranian  commander of Quds Force  Qassem Soleimani visited the Kurdistan Region and met during his visit  Massoud Barzani , president of the Iraqi Kurdistan  region and met with Nechirvan Barzani, the President of the Government of the Region  in Erbil, and  he met with the leaders of the Kurdistan Patriotic Union  in Sulaimaniya, including Kusrat Rasool “First Deputy of  Jalal Talabani, and Talabani’s wife, Hero Ibrahim and Mullah Bakhtiar, a member of the political bureau of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, also met with a number of other officials in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

The aim Soleimani’s visit to Iraqi Kurdistan region

First: to disrupt the referendum process of   self- determination of Kurdistan   , which acknowledged   by the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and other Kurdish parties and the Government of the region to conduct it, in addition to the issue of raising the flag of Kurdistan in Kirkuk, and the return of the Kurdish areas to the Kurdistan administration.

Second, is to keep the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan a way from the Democratic Party noting that the relations between the two sides have been cold in the last period, but in the past few days it has seen a surprise meeting between the two main parties, led by regional president Massoud Barzani, and this meeting melt the ice between them, and issued together important decisions on the future of the region.

Third:  the Qassem Soleimani’s visit to Sulaymaniyah comes in the context of the liquidation of the disputes between the wings of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party.

And  what confirms that these goals were the focus of a visit of Qassem Soleimani  , the special information obtained by the Rawabet  Center for  Research and Strategic Studies, which  provides that Soleimani had told Kurdish leaders that  Iran rejected the referendum concerning the right to self-determination of the Kurdistan region of Iraq, and he told them  that Turkey, Syria and Iraq refused  this step ,  and he pointed out to them  clearly that the good relationship between Iran, Kurdistan Region of Iraq will not be a justification  for  the sacrifice of our  strategic relationship with the Turkish state.

This regional rejection confirms that the issue of the independence of Iraqi Kurdistan is not an internal issue but a regional and international issue, where without the availability of   required  conditions  for this file , the subject is not achieved, it is for regional and international will, this file is based on the concept of re-producing  of Middle East countries, and  that  subject  can not   stand  with  the borders of the Kurdistan region , because the Kurdish presence is distributed in four countries and can not find a special  recipe   to  the Kurds of Iraq , and the issue of the independence of the  Kurds  is very  complex and needs  a lot of introductions, and  in my point of view , it is not at this stage nor in the next stage will be prepared for the reception of  such  recipe  that   the Middle  East is boiling and its files are  many and overlapping.

According to information obtained by the   Raabet Center  concerning  Qassem Soleimani’s visit to the Kurdistan region of Iraq,  he has dealt with Kurdish officials  to the issue of raising the Iraqi Kurdistan flag on government institutions in Kirkuk, and informed them of the rejection of  Iranian government  to this behavior. And he asked them to strengthen their relations with the federal government in Baghdad instead of thinking about separation and unilateral measures.

The rejection was not limited only   to  the Iranian government, but also included  the Turkish government  so according to information obtained by the  Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies that  the Turkish government  has sent a letter to the Iranian counterpart  to  inform it  of its rejection  to raise the Kurdish flag over government institutions in Kirkuk, and considered this a provocative act by the Kurdish side and also assured it that the right to self-determination in Iraqi Kurdistan is one of the red lines in the Turkish foreign policy, and according to information obtained by the c  Rawbet Center  , there is a consensus between the Iranian and Turkish vision regarding these two issues.

Also this compatibility was pulled out for the first time between Iran and Turkey over the PKK. According to information obtained by the Rawabet center, Iran informed the Iraqi government and the leadership of both parties in the Kurdistan region that the presence of that party in Iraq has become unacceptable, and  the position of the party  in Iraqi Kurdistan and groups of it  in Syria, backed by the United States of America has become difficult and critical, and in this context, Iran has demanded the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) to stop in the defense of the PKK, similar to the former Iraqi government in Baghdad which has stopped sending aid to  the party. In this new Iranian trends , Iran has informed the Iraqi government with the leadership of the two parties in Kurdistan that  it is not in  its interest to lose the diplomatic, economic and security ties with the Turkish neighbor.  Turkey from the point of view of the Iranian policy is the gate of the Arab Mashreq and not Iraq.

The Iraqi Studies Unit

Translated by: Mudhaffar al-Kusairi

Rawabet Research and Strategic Studies Center


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