A group of Iraqi Kurdish activists and citizens demonstrated today in Arbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Regional Government, to decry Iran’s artillery attacks in the Iran-Iraq border region.
A Radio Zamaneh correspondent reports that the demonstration was organized by the Iran Ist [Stop Iran] Campaign, an umbrella group of various civil organizations in Arbil. The demonstration began at the governor’s buildings and ended at the Iranian consulate.
Protesters chanted slogans against Islamic Republic policies in both Persian and Kurdish.
In front of the Iranian consulate, protesters called on officials to come out and explain Iran’s artillery attacks. The demonstrators also wanted to know why the Alvand River in Iran’s Kermanshah province has been diverted so that it no longer flows into the Kurdish Iraqi region of Diali.
The consulate staff expressed their dissatisfaction with the demonstration but eventually let campaign representatives enter the building to deliver a protest letter.
Campaign spokesman Boland Mostafa said they told Iranian officials of their concern over the attacks as well as the river diversion. They promised to continue their protests if the attacks did not cease within 72 hours.
The campaign letter accuses Iran of the “political exploitation” of natural resources shared by Iran and the KRG, and calls for a peaceful resolution to regional disputes and the return of peace and stability.
The Islamic Republic has been shelling the Iran-Iraq border regions for the past three weeks on the grounds that the dissident militant group PJAK has been allowed to set up bases in the Kurdish regions of Iraq.
Both PJAK and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps have sustained significant losses during the conflict, which has also forced local residents out of their homes and in some cases led to civilian deaths and injuries.