Distraction from mass demonstrations: Iran fires on Kurds in Iraq

distraction from mass demonstrations
Iran fires on Kurds in Iraq

For almost two weeks, the regime in Tehran has been faced with mass protests over the death of a young Kurdish woman. Revolutionary Guards are now shelling Kurdish positions in Iraq. The US and the federal government condemn the escalation of the conflict as a diversionary maneuver.

The conflict surrounding the death of the young Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in Iran has spread beyond the country’s borders. While the demonstrations at home and abroad have been going on for almost two weeks, neighboring Iraq has reported at least nine deaths from Iranian attacks in the Kurdish region. Several countries strongly condemned the bombing. At least nine people were killed and 28 others injured in Iranian drone and missile attacks in the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, officials said.

In Tehran, Iranian state television reported that “the ground forces of the Revolutionary Guards had targeted several headquarters of separatist terrorists in northern Iraq with precision missiles and (…) drones.” A high-ranking official in the Kurdish region said civilians were among the dead.

“These cowardly attacks are taking place at a time when the Iranian terror regime is failing to counter the ongoing protests (…) and crush the civil resistance of the Kurdish and Iranian people,” the Kurdistan Democratic Party wrote on Twitter. She was referring to the ongoing protests in Iran over the death of the Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini, who had been arrested by the morality police in Tehran, apparently for not wearing the Islamic headscarf according to the rules. According to activists, she was beaten by the police and died as a result.

Baghdad wants to summon ambassadors

Left-wing Iranian exile groups in northern Iraq have supported the protests in Iran since Amini’s death and condemned the violent crackdown, which has killed at least 76 people, according to the Oslo-based human rights organization Iran Human Rights (IHR). The Foreign Ministry in Baghdad announced that it would summon the Iranian ambassador to hand him a “letter of protest”. Tehran had already attacked Kurdish facilities in northern Iraq in the past few days.

The German government expressly condemned the Iranian attacks. Germany is very concerned about Iran’s attacks against the background of the domestic political protests in Iran, the Foreign Office said in Berlin. “We clearly reject attempts to locate the causes of the protests in Iran in the neighboring country,” emphasized the Federal Foreign Office and called on Iran to stop the attacks immediately. The Federal Foreign Office advised against traveling to Iran and recommended visitors to avoid large crowds.

Britain also called on Iran to end “indiscriminate bombing,” calling the attacks “a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity” and “completely unacceptable.” White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said the Iranian leadership’s attacks continue to show “blatant disregard not only for its own people but also for its neighbors and the fundamental principles of sovereignty and territorial enshrined in the UN Charter Integrity”.

Amini’s parents file a lawsuit

Meanwhile, the demonstrators took to the streets again in numerous Iranian cities, and abroad – from Berlin to Nicosia to Buenos Aires – people expressed their solidarity with protests and demanded a full clarification of the case. Officials in Iran, meanwhile, announced tougher action against the demonstrators. The Iranian police said she would oppose the protests “with all her might”. Internet access was also severely restricted.

Meanwhile, Amini’s parents filed a lawsuit against the police. Attorney Saleh Nikbacht explained that the public prosecutor’s office and the investigating magistrate were asked to examine in detail what exactly happened from the moment of arrest to when Amini was transferred to the hospital. Prosecutors have promised that the case will be thoroughly investigated.

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