[A VOA Persian report about joint military drill of Iran and Iraq in western borders of Iran. This is following the independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan.]
TV anchor says: Iran and Iraq are going to hold a joint military drill in border regions of Iraqi Kurdistan. Meanwhile, Iraqi Kurdistan has announced that none of the gates of Kurdistan borders will be given to Iraqi army. Also, in an emergency session, Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament rejected Baghdad’s punishment measures for preventing Kurdistan’s split from this country. Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of State issued a statement, calling independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan unlawful. For more, Ali Javanmardi will join us from Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan. Ali, what more details do you have about this drill? And basically, where will it be held?
The reporter states: Payam, according to Iraqi media, this drill will be held in next couple of days, and necessary steps have been taken in this regard. This is after the trip of Osman Al-Ghaemi, chief of general staff of Iraqi army, to Tehran. After the referendum on September 25, he went there to meet with senior political and military officials of Iran. Later it was announced that a military drill will be held along western and north-western borders of Iran. It means that it is from Qasr-e Shirin and Parviz Khan in the west to Bashmakh close to Marivan, and Haji Omran border and Tamarkeh in Piranshahr in West Azerbaijan Province in Iran.
The reporter continues: Along this border, a military drill will be held. It is not announced how many people will take part in this military drill. And even a there is a vague, sensitive issue involved. This coincides with the fact that Heidar Al-Ebadi has asked Turkey and Iran for help to send its military forces to border gates in northern Iraq to take the control of these borders from Iraqi Kurdistan. Iraqi Kurdistan has rejected this. Today, Ayad Allawi, Iraq’s vice president, talked about this issue in a press conference in Jordan. He asked both sides to talk and start negotiating unconditionally, saying that Iraq is in serious danger, and any interference of neighbors will harm Iraqi people, the Iraqi government, and integrity of Iraq. Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament had a long, 9-hour session today. At the end of the session, it was announced that a resolution has been issued. In the resolution, Iraqi government’s decisions to punish Iraqi Kurdistan were rejected. Regional and neighboring countries were asked to recognize the resolve of Kurdish people which was shown on September 25. Also, the message of Shiite Grand Sistani was welcomed. He has asked both sides, i.e. Baghdad and Erbil, to negotiate for solving the created tensions.
TV anchor asks: Ali, what was the reaction of officials of Iraq central government, specially Heidar Al-Ebadi, to these developments?
The reporter adds: Two days ago, it was announced that the government would implement 12 punishing measures against Iraqi Kurdistan. Of these, only one has been implemented so far and that was stopping international flights to international airports in Erbil and Suleimaniyeh. Later, there was a reaction against Heidar Al-Ebadi, calling this economic sanction against Kurdish people. After that, Heidar Al-Ebadi wrote in his twitter that “we are protecting and guarding Kurdish people, and all these measures are to the benefit of Kurdish people.” But despite remarks of Heidar Al-Ebadi calling these to the benefit of Kurdish people, yesterday this decision was implemented and airports were closed. And if other 11 decisions of Baghdad government are implemented, the conditions will become critical. And it can be said that it is hard to predict what will happen next.
TV anchor: Thank you, Ali Javanmardi, VOA reporter in Erbil, Iraq.