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 Massoud Barzani says Iran is "a friendly country", we need it

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Massoud Barzani says Iran is "a friendly country", we need it  31.10.2011  
By staff writers

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shakes hands with the president of Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region, Massoud Barzani, during a meeting in Tehran on October 30, 2011. Photo: Getty See Related Articles

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (R) meets with Iraqi Kurdistan Regional President Massoud Barzani in Tehran October 30, 2011. Photo: Reuters  

October 31, 2011

TEHRAN,— Iraq's Kurdistan region President Massoud Barzani described Iran as "a friendly country", stressing the need for it, according Iranian Mehr Newe Agency.

The agency added that leader of the Iranian revolution Ali Khamanei received on Sunday President Barzani.

Barzani stated that "we will not forget the assistance of the Iranian people and government during the hard times passed by Iraq".

"To preserve our victory, we need Iranian assistance and guidance in this sphere", Barzani added.

Khamanei declared that "Iran will support a unified Iraq with full stability", stressing "Iraq should be rebuilt in order to have its rightful status".

He described the peaceful coexistence among ethnic groups is "a precious opportunity" describing the present situation in Iraq "relieves Iranian republic".

He added that all Iraqi ethnic groups are " close brothers to Iran with deep rooted relations with the Iranian people", stressing that "bilateral relations are good and should be developed day by day".

Massoud Barzani, has arrived in Tehran on Saturday at Mehrabad International Airport in Iranian Capital Tehran, on an official visit and was received in the airport by the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ali Akbar Salehi and Iraq's Ambassador to Tehran, Mohammed Majid al-Sheikh.

During the meeting, they discussed ways to promote and advance bilateral relations in all aspects between the two countries.

Iran's Foreign Minister and the president of the autonomous Kurdistan region in Iraq declared on Saturday the issue of a Kurdish PJAK rebel group which has been launching attacks against the Islamic republic from its rear bases in Iraq was "over."

Barzani announced on Saturday that the borders of the Iraq's Kurdistan region shall be safe according to an agreement reached with anti-Iranian PJAK.

He added that Kurdistan does not support the idea of any war in the area, but "we support solving the problems between Turkey and PKK party".

"If they need our assistance, we are ready to play this role", he confirmed.

In July, Tehran launched a string of operations against the Iranian rebel Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) and began shelling districts near the border with Iraqi Kurdistan region, killing dozens of PJAK members including the rebels' deputy commander.

The Iranian bombardment of Iraqi Kurdistan’s border areas had continued for 3 months, killing and injuring many Iraqi Kurdish civilians and causing damage for dozens of houses and agricultural fields in Iraqi Kurdistan region.

Human Rights Watch said on September 2, that it had evidence that Iran may have deliberately targeted civilians in its offenisve against the rebels.

Kurdish local officials and an NGO in early August reported that more than 200 Iraqi Kurdish families had been forced from their homes by weeks of Iranian shelling of separatist rebel bases in northern Iraq.

PJAK rebels, designated as "terrorists" by Tehran.

Since 2004 the PJAK took up arms for self-rule in Kurdistan province northwestern of Iran (Iranian Kurdistan, Eastern Kurdistan). Half the members of PJAK are women. The PJAK has over 5,000 armed militiamen.

The group takes sanctuary in the northern border mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan Region, mainly in Qandil Mountain. This area is populated by civilian nomadic Kurdish families.

Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey all have significant ethnic Kurdish minorities. Estimate to over 12 million Kurds live in Iran. 

Sources: | | AFP | Agencies

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