KRG Summons Iranian Diplomat Over CIA Accusation on Iran Protests

The KRG Department of Foreign Relations has expressed its objection and concern with Iranian accusations of Erbil being complicit in the anti-government Iranian protests, calling the accusations “baseless” and contradictory to “good-neighborly relations,” Kurdish media network Rudaw reports.

“Expressed the concern and objection of [the] KRG to Deputy Consul General of the Islamic Republic of Iran, regarding recent statements from Tehran officials, accusing KRG of involvement in demonstrations in Iran, emphasizing that it contradicts principles of good-neighborly relations,” read a tweet from DFR Head Falah Mustafa.

The KRG foreign minister met with Iran’s Deputy CG to Erbil Syamak Burhani on Sunday.

Mohsen Rezaee, who heads an advisory board that reports to the Supreme Leader of Iran, claimed on Saturday that they had intelligence showing the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency was plotting the anti-government protests with “Barzanis” in Erbil —  a reference to the KDP, the biggest Kurdish party and headed by Masoud Barzani

“The accusations are baseless and this is not the first time that such accusations are made by high-ranking Iranian officials. If he [Rezaee] has evidence, he should reveal them,” wrote the DFR in a readout of the meeting.

Mustafa called this damaging towards relations between the KRG and the Islamic Republic. He insisted that the KRG wishes to have friendly relations with all neighboring states and the international community. The Deputy Consul General Burhani said, according to the DFR, that he will take the concerns and objections into consideration and will relay them to the officials in Tehran.

Anti-government protests spread from the far east of Iran on December 28 to the far west, including Iranian Kurdistan. At least 21 people died after violent clashes with Iranian forces, while around 1,000 people have been detained.

KRG’s spokesperson responded to the claims on Saturday, saying that KRG has proven to be a factor of stability in the region and that it has never allowed any act against neighboring states. Kurdish PM Nechirvan Barzani responded to the claims during a press conference in Sulaimani on Sunday, saying that Iran is a good neighbor to KRG and desires good relations

“We will never become the factor of destabilizing Iran’s security,” he said.

KRG remained silent on the protests in Iran and did not issue statements on the matter. Iranian officials announced that the protests are over on Thursday.