Kurdish group: Iran’s claim that Saudis, Israelis killed in attack ‘ridiculous’

A mural of the late Kurdish leader Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou, assassinated by Iranian regime operatives in Austria in 1989, smiling on a building at the headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party – Iran (KDP-I) that Iranian missiles hit, killing at least 14 people in Koya, Kurdistan Region, Sept. 9, 2018. (Photo: Wladimir Van Wilgenburg)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – After an Iranian commander was quoted in national media claiming that Saudi and Israeli agents were among those killed by his military’s September missile attack on the headquarters of Iranian opposition parties in the Kurdistan Region, an official from one of the parties responded by making light of the claim.

“The Iranian allegation… is simply ridiculous,” Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDP-I) spokesperson Asso Hassan-Zadeh told Kurdistan 24. The statement, he added, is part of Tehran’s “propaganda that tries to, through lies, establish a link between the Iranian Kurdish parties and states that have problems with Iran.”

“We categorically refute this claim,” he added. “The identity of the 16 victims of the Iranian missile attack [are] known to everybody. They were all Iranian Kurds, members of our party. The Iranian regime knows very well that no one believes this kind of accusation.”

According to Hassan-Zadeh, such claims are one way for Iran to respond to American rhetoric on Iranian interference in other nations’ affairs and to “deliberately raise the tension between the Islamic Republic and some countries in the region.”

“It is also a way to play on the sensitivity of some Iranian patriots who prefer the continuation of this regime to the so-called disintegration of Iran which would be, according to the Iranian propaganda, fomented by the interference of the regional rivals of Iran and the United States,” he concluded.

The headquarters the KDP-I and the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI), both located in the Kurdistan Region’s town of Koya, were targeted in the attack, along with a nearby refugee camp for Iranian Kurds.

The majority of the 16 killed were members of the KDP-I, but a smaller number of PDK-I members perished as well.

Senior Kurdish officials later told Kurdistan 24 that the Iranian missile attacks against Kurds were a message to the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia.

In a separate missile attack on Oct. 1, Iran fired on alleged IS positions in Syria’s Deir al-Zor Province in response to an attack on a military parade in the southern Iranian city of Ahvaz that killed at least 60.

Written on the side of one of the rockets displayed in Iranian state media shortly afterward were the slogans “Death to America, Death to Israel, Death to Al-Saud,” the latter referring to Saudi Arabia’s ruling family.

Editing by John J. Catherine