KDP Follows US Lead, Improves Relations With Iran – Closer ties between KDP and Tehran could signal cooling of Iran’s relationships with PUK and PKK

20.01.2015 16:23 – ERBIL – Bas News – As relations between the United States and Iran slowly thaw amid the resumption of negotiations regarding Tehran’s nuclear ambitions on Sunday, there are efforts to foster closer ties between Tehran and the ruling party in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).Kurdish analyst Rebwar Karim believes the improvement of relations between the KDP and Iran can only have a positive impact, as the party could begin to wield influence not only in Kurdistan, but throughout the entire Middle East.

A source close to the KDP told BasNews that with talks between the US and Iran resuming, and their common enemy of Islamic State, the relationship between the KDP and Iran is getting stronger.“In the current situation, the KDP understands Iran’s status as a major player in Middle East and can’t ignore them. They feel some of the problems that they faced with the PKK and PUK can be solved via Iran and know if they have a good relationship with Tehran, then Iran will back away from the PUK and PKK,” added the source who spoke anonymously.“We get along with Iran, but I can assure you that our relationship with neighboring countries doesn’t damage other parties,” said Ahmed Kani, the head of KDP’s Iraqi relations.Rebwar Karim explained to BasNews that the KRG needs strong ties with all countries that have influence in the region, “In this regard, Iran and Turkey is very important for the KRG and can’t be ignored. When we have overlooked one of them, we have faced instability, and conversely when we have developed strong ties the Kurdistan region is stable.” He claims that in recent years, the US has shown a greater willingness to sit down with Iranian authorities, an indication that Washington will be pleased to see the KDP close to its eastern neighbour.