Iraq calls on Kurdistan to hand over heavy
'Kurdistan's heavy weapons
pose threat to Iraq'
April 30, 2012
BAGHDAD,— Iraqi authorities have called
on the autonomous Kurdistan Region to hand over
heavy weaponry it seized after the fall of former
dictator Saddam Hussein, Iranian Press TV reported.
Sami al-Askari, who is a lawmaker and a close aide
to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, said
Saturday the Iraqi Constitution does not allow local
governments to possess heavy weapons.
He demanded the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)
to give up its tanks and warplanes if it intends to
remain within a united Iraq.
Earlier Kurdish military authorities approved the
possession of every type of weapons by the northern
They say the Iraqi Constitution has not specified
the types of arms Kurds can possess.
Reports say That Iraq’s Kurdish region has a large
fleet of Russian-made warplanes left over from the
They are now reaching out to Western parties to
learn how to use the aircraft.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Sa’ad al-Motallebi,
member of the State of Law Coalition, to share his
opinion on this issue. The following is a rough
transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Well let us start from the beginning. Why
would the Kurds really need this heavy weaponry from
the beginning and do you think that they would
actually abide by a request from Baghdad?
Al-Motallebi: It is quite ambiguous or really very
obscure reasons but what we are worried about is the
possession of such arms and artillery and heavy
ammunition that could be used by terrorist factions
that are under the Kurdish name and participate in
unrest in neighboring countries.
There is the chance, there is the opportunity, there
is the possibility of these weapons reaching the
hands of terrorists that may endanger the Iranian
border or the Turkish border which will put Iraq in
a very awkward position with its northern and
Since we have the central government, have no
control on such weapons and the position of those
weapons and we do not know where they are and why
and how they are being used,www.ekurd.net
the possibility of them
falling into the wrong hands remains a big threat,
remains a real threat and remains a big worry for
Iraq that it may be used deliberately to endanger
Iraq relationship with its neighboring countries.
The matter of trust between the local governments in
Kurdistan and the federal government, that is a
matter of a political bargaining because as
everybody knows the President of Iraq is a Kurdish,
the Vice Chairman for the parliament is Kurdish,
Vice Deputy, the Deputy Prime Minister is Kurdish,
the head of the staff in the Ministry of Defense is
Kurdish, Head of Security is Kurdish, Head of
Intelligence or Deputy Head of Intelligence is
Kurdish so the Kurds are entwined within the
Constitution and within the central government.
So the idea of that central government attacking
Kurdistan by using Kurdish leadership in Baghdad,
that is completely a ridiculous view and ridiculous
idea and to me that sounds like an argument that
somebody is hiding something behind and trying not
to tell the truth.
Press TV: Well Mr. al-Motallebi how confident are
you that the central government will be able to
actually ensure that the Kurds will be disarmed or
if they voluntarily give the weapons? How confident
are you that this will happen?
Al-Motallebi: Not at all. Without the regional help
and without a correct and proper dialogue in Baghdad
and without being honest about these issues I doubt
that the central government is in a position to
force the Kurds to handover their weapons.
Their reason, we still yet do not understand the
reason why they accumulated such a vast arsenal and
we again do not understand the reason why they have
been asking international countries into adding into
A number of ambassadors and the states have informed
us that they have received a list of medium and
heavy weapons request from the Kurdish government
and these European states have informed us and gave
us the list.
Press TV: I want to look at exactly what you have
just said about they are asking international
entities to arm them. What about those international
entities? What right do these other countries have
in arming a part of Iraq itself because technically
the Kurdistan of course is still under the ruling of
the central government? So what right does other
countries have in actually arming a part of your
Al-Motallebi: That is exactly true. They have no
right to do so. Therefore they have informed the
central government in Baghdad. They said we have
received such request from Kurdistan and they said
that we refused to offer them the guns and the heavy
machinery and they informed the central government
of this and the central government of course
enforced the idea that any military deal must pass
through Baghdad first. Any province has no right in
purchasing any type of weapons let alone heavy guns
and heavy machinery.
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