A Visit to the Iranian Consulate

 A Visit to the Iranian Consulate

CPT accepted an invitation to visit the Iranian Consulate in Sulaimani on 22 May, bringing with them the report “Disrupted Lives: the effects of cross-border attacks by Turkey and Iran on Kurdish villages.”  

The trip marked the first time since 2010 that CPT met with members of the Iranian Embassy in Iraqi Kurdistan, despite several previous attempts. This was the first time CPT met with representatives from the Consulate in Sulaimani. The primary purpose of the visit was to pass along the report, which contained the latest information CPT had gathered about the cross-border bombing and shelling of Iraqi Kurdistan villages.

Hamid Bodaghi, the First Consul of the Consulate in Sulaimani, was attentive during the meeting and seemed interested in the report and the work of CPT. “Any question, any ambiguity about Iran’s position, do not hesitate to contact us,” he said.

When questioned about the need for shelling over the border, Bodaghi responded by saying that it was “natural and normal” for the Iranian government to desire the safety of its citizens, and that “every corner of the world” wanted this, as well.

When asked if the shelling of villages was the most effective way to combat the militia groups in these areas, Bodaghi insisted that the border guards are largely made up of locals, who are able to distinguish “between civilians, smugglers and terrorists. They know. They’re local!” -  suggesting that no mistakes occur and no civilians are harmed.

He also said that villagers receive warnings well in advance of potential shelling, so that they may remove themselves and their animals from the area to safety. This does not match, however, with the information CPT Iraqi Kurdistan has gathered in regards to the cross boarder attacks by Turkey and Iran. Warnings directly from Iran do not precede attacks.

CPT Iraqi Kurdistan does not condone the violence perpetrated by Turkey and Iran against the Kurdish people.

CPT Iraqi Kurdistan does not condone the sanctions against Iran emplaced by the U.N, that collectively punish the Iranian and Kurdish People of Iran.

CPT Iraqi Kurdistan does not condone the calls for “military action” against Iran.