TALABANI’S DISABLED PARTY : Iran asks PUK to delay party convention

Ahmed Safa’adeen – BasNews (Iran): 26-11-2013 – Iranian Parliament speaker Ali Larijani has sent a letter to the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), warning them to solve their internal divisions. The letter also asked the members to delay the party’s general convention, scheduled to be held at the beginning of 2014.

Last week an Iranian government delegation held meetings with most Iraqi Kurdish parties, in what many saw as an effort to influence the formation of the new Kurdish government. Tehran has made  a particular effort to support and influence the PUK, who have been struggling to maintain the party’s unity since Talabani’s stroke  in December.

According to local media reports, the Iranian delegation has been talking to most of the PUK leaders, in an attempt to bring them closer together. The reports also reveal that the biggest  source of conflict is between Talabani’s wife Hero Ibrahim Ahmed and Iraq’s former deputy prime minister and PUK deputy leader, Barham Salih. Following the PUK’s loss of votes in the last elections, Salih has warned that the PUK will struggle in the future.

Prior to the elections, Barham Salih told AFP that ‘the absence of Talabani really makes it challenging for us (PUK) to stay together. The PUK has suffered, and things have to change; we need to move with the times. If we were to think that we can just be in business as usual, it would be a very false assumption.’   

The Iranian delegation has offered a number of options to the PUK leaders in order to solve their differences. In the letter, Larijani advised the leaders to solve their disputes “because if there are any splits, Iran will not take sides.” The letter was intended for the party’s three main figures: Hero Ahmed, Talabani’s first deputy Kosrat Rasul Ali and Barham Salih. http://www.basnews.net/en/News/Details/Iran-asks-PUK-to-delay-party-convention/6690