Top Iranian general stresses cooperation with Turkey on KRG vote
The deputy chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Brig. Gen. Sayyid Masoud Jazayeri, has said trilateral collaboration between Turkey, Iran and Iraq will work to prevent the cessation of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) from Iraq.
In an interview with a Turkish newspaper, Jazayeri said that collaboration between the governments of Iraq, Turkey and Iran would prevent the realization of Kurdish independence. "The Islamic Republic of Iran will not accept this," he said, claiming that the United States and Israel are behind Iraqi Kurdistan's drive for independence.
"We need to prevent this crisis from further growing and spreading across other security areas," Jazayeri said, expressing his hope that the KRG and the central government in Baghdad can reach an understanding through dialogue and negotiations.
Iranian Chief of General Staff Gen. Mohammed Hossein Bagheri after meeting with Erdoğan and Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar on Sept. 25, contended that the KRG's independence referendum would trigger more conflict and bring negative consequences to the entire region.
"Both sides stressed that if the referendum were to be held, it would be the basis for the start of another series of tensions and conflicts in Iraq, the consequences of which would also affect neighboring countries," Bagheri said.
Jazayeri stressed that recent visits from Turkish and Iranian officials will be positively reflected on relations. "The military authorities of the Republic of Turkey and the Islamic Republic of Iran, which are the two big countries in the region, came together after years with the visit to Turkey by Iranian Chief of Staff Brig. Gen. Bagheri," Jazayeri said, adding that Akar will be in Iran in the upcoming days.
After Bagheri's visit to Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that he and Bagheri "discussed the details on what kind of work we can carry out between us. There are damages that the PKK and its branch in Iran cause. We will carry out these discussions with the understanding that the threats can be defeated with the cooperation of both countries in a short time."
Touching on the Astana process, brokered by Russia, Turkey and Iran, Jazayeri said: "We see that cooperation between Iran, Turkey and Russia is increasing."
He stressed that "the relations and cooperation between Turkey and Iran are moving faster and we hope that this cooperation can help the region reach peace."