MESOP KURDS AGAINST MULLAH’S : Kurdish KDPI looks to form alliances to counter Iran threat

3 July 2016 RUDAW / MESOP  –  The Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) is looking to build alliances with national, regional, and international allies in the face of threats from the Iranian government in Tehran.

“PDKI [KDPI] has embarked on an international campaign to find allies in the Middle East and beyond to counter the threats from the Islamist regime in Iran,” reads a statement from the organization published on Saturday, responding a senior Iranian military official who vowed to “crush” KDPI threats in the Kurdistan Region.

The KDPI, whose headquarters are based in Iraqi Kurdistan and affiliate with Iraqi KDP leader Massoud Barzani, and the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) have clashed several times in Kurdish areas of northern Iran since mid-June. On June 26, Iran took the fight internationally, firing shells across the border into Iraqi Kurdistan on the pretext that KDPI bases were located in the area.

Last month Iran said that its Revolutionary Guards have killed 12 Kurdish rebels from the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan PJAK  in Iranian Kurdistan in clashes in which three Guards were also killed.

A senior Iranian military commander vowed to crush Kurdish rebels, regardless of what borders were in the way. “I warn the officials of Iraqi Kurdistan, adhere to their commitments as the Islamic Republic will crush threats regardless of geographical considerations,” said Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami, second-in-command of Iran’s revolutionary guards, speaking at Friday prayers in Tehran University, according to the Tehran Times.

The Kurdish government has warned the KDPI, and all Iranian and Turkish opposition groups, against using Kurdistan Region territories for launching attacks on its neighbors and insisted that they must respect Erbil’s international relations with these countries.

Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has also condemned Iran’s attacks on its territories and the threats made by Salami. “We strongly reject the threats made by Maj. Gen. Salami and see them as inappropriate to the historic and friendly relations between the Kurdistan Region and the Islamic Republic of Iran,” said the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on Saturday.

The KDPI has stepped up security at its bases after Salami’s speech and vowed it will retaliate to any acts of aggression. “PDKI [KDPI] is taking these threats seriously and has taken steps to tightening (sic) security at its bases,” reads the group’s statement. “At the same time, PDKI officials have vowed that the Peshmerga Forces inside eastern (Iranian) Kurdistan will respond forcefully to any acts of aggression against PDKI’s bases in southern Kurdistan.”

The group is also looking to build alliances within Iran, the Middle Eastern region, and the wider international community.

On Saturday, the KDPI announced on Twitter that it was meeting with representatives from the Group of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK), an umbrella organization founded by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) to bring together groups dedicated to putting into practice PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan’s ideas of democratic confederalism. The purpose of the meeting was to “strengthen cooperation.”

PJAK is a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Confederation (KCK), which is an alliance of Kurdish groups and divisions led by an elected Executive