MESOP FLASH : Iran Again Expresses Worries About PKK Withdrawal

Iran Urges Respect for Iraq’s Territorial Integrity after PKK Withdrawal from Turkey

TEHRAN (FNA) FARS NEWS – 22.5.2013 – Iran on Tuesday said the recent agreement between Ankara and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party on the withdrawal of the PKK members from Turkey into Northern Iraq should have been okayed by Tehran and Baghdad beforehand.

“When some developments are to take place at borders and forces are to be moved, definitely they need to happen with the consent of the Central governments (of Iran and Iraq),” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Araqchi said, alluding to the PKK movement across Iraq-Turkey border, which is taking place only after the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) voiced its consent and without the permission of the Baghdad government.

Araqchi reiterated Iran’s support for Iraq’s territorial integrity, and stated that Iran is closely monitoring developments in the region. Earlier, Former Iraqi prime minister and head of the Iraqi National Alliance Ibrahim Jafari said Baghdad will not allow elements of the PKK who are entering Iraq’s soil as part of a deal with Turkey to threaten security of Iraq and the neighboring states.

Jafari pointed to the PKK withdrawal from the Turkish territory as part of a settlement process with the Ankara government, and said, “Anybody who arrives in Iraq’s soil should respect the country’s ruling system and should not violate the country’s sovereignty and security. He should also avoid interfering in Iraq’s affairs.”  “We cannot accept that Iraq becomes a victim of an agreement between the Turkish government and the PKK,” Jafari stressed.  He further said that Iraq will not allow anyone to endanger the security of its neighboring countries.