Iran’s Quds force leader wants Iraqi Kurdistan president out: ex-minister / Iranian Quds Force Commander General Qassem Soleimani

NRTTV – 14 Mar 2015 SLEMANI, Kurdistan – ‘Iraq’,— A former Jordanian information minister revealed that Iranian Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani has previously asked Kurdish officials to do everything in their power to remove Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Masoud Barzani from office. In an interview with the London-based Sharq al-Awsat website, Salih al-Qalab stated that Soleimani met with leading Patriotic Union Party (PUK) officials including Hero Ibrahim Ahmed, Kosrat Rasul Ali, Mullah Bakhtiyar, and Barham Salih last year in Sulaimaniyah.

Rasul, who is a KRG vice president, reportedly refused to support Soleimani’s request to seek Barzani’s dismissal. As a key military adviser to Iraqi security forces and Iranian-backed Shiite militias in their fight against the Islamic State, Soleimani has been the focus of increasing attention in Iraq as well as abroad. Al-Qalab also discussed a more recent meeting in Sulaimaniyah between an Iranian envoy in Erbil and the editors of four newspapers linked to the PUK. Ahmed, a PKK representative, and the co-chair of the Group of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK), Cemil Bayik, were also in attendance. He indicated that those at the meeting had agreed to encourage demonstrations in the Kurdistan region, as well as attempt to undermine Barzani’s potential re-election. A PUK spokesperson has since denied Qalabi’s statements, describing them as unconfirmed and unfounded.