The fact that some Kurdish and Iraqi parties are so reliant on Iran raises serious questions about whether America liberated Iraq or simply created another Iran. No other country has more influence and power over Iraq than Iran. America is supposed to have occupied Iraq, but Iranian soldiers are roaming freely in Iraq without anyone discussing a timetable for their withdrawal.
I believe that before the American occupation of Iraq ends, there should be serious discussion over how to end the Iranian occupation. Iraq and parts of the Kurdistan region are under Iranian control, if not occupation.
Iran controls at least 70 percent of Iraqi political and human aspects including Kurdistan. Groups and parties close to Iran are open and frank about their relationship.
Apart from interfering in every major and minor Iraqi issue, Iran is now trying to reign in by force the only part of Kurdistan that is not obediently bowing to it. Interfering in domestic affairs, bombing the borders and backing fighters of the extremist group Ansar al-Islam to attack the Kurdistan region are undeniable evidence of Iran’s attempt to gain full control of Iraq.
During the recent shelling, some in the Kurdish media blamed the Kurdistan Region’s Parliament, saying Iran was bombing us because of their negligence. But this isn’t right, and the situation is quite clear.
They say Kurdistan has an office representing the region’s interests in Tehran, but I would argue that it serves as the Iranian link to Kurdistan. The words of Nazim Omar, Kurdistan’s representative to Tehran, aren’t any different than those of the Iranian consul-general in Erbil and its ambassador in Baghdad.
Iran is trying to help the Patriotic of Kurdistan (PUK) rise to power again while pushing for the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) to stop supporting the United States. A Kurdish Islamic leader clearly stated that one of the reasons Iran is shelling Kurdistan is that Kurds support America.
When we see Iranian planes and trucks that carry weapons to other parts of the world being intercepted, one can’t help but ask how much Iran is using Kurdistan as a transit point for the same purpose. At many checkpoints, Iranian ammunition and narcotics have been confiscated.
Opening two consulates in Kurdistan doesn’t mean that Iran loves the Kurds. Didn’t we hear Nazim Omar say that he can’t even write a letter from his Tehran office on the Kurdistan Regional Government’s official letterhead? These consulates are diplomatic covers for their clandestine affairs.
The direct flights from Kermanshah and Sanandaj to Sulaimani airport carrying few passengers should also be questioned. Iran tried to send weapons to Syria via Turkey. So in this country, we need to be even more vigilant of our open borders.