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Iraqi Parliament Condemns Iranian Shelling
Statement Issued, Onslaught Continues, Larijani Accuses US of Backing Rebels
09/06/2007 12:10 PM ET
Baghdad, IRAQ: A Kurdish fighter patrols an area in the Iraqi part of Qandil Mountains near their headquarters on the Iraqi-Iranian-Turkish borders, 12 June 2007.
Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty
Baghdad, IRAQ: A Kurdish fighter patrols an area in the Iraqi part of Qandil Mountains near their headquarters on the Iraqi-Iranian-Turkish borders, 12 June 2007.

The Iraqi parliament took up the issue of Iranian shelling of Iraqi territory on Wednesday, but found it could do no more than issue a sharply-worded statement condemning the action and an appeal for "the government" to do something to stop it.

The border bombardment continued Thursday, as Iran's national security adviser accused the United States of backing the Kurdish militants who attack his country.

"The people fleeing form the villages affected by the Iranian shelling go through incalculable hardships," legislator Saad al-Barazanji, from the Kurdistan Alliance, told Wednesday's session.

The Kurdish parliamentarian urged the House to intervene to halt the onslaught, but Speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani decided they should issue a formal statement.

The Iraqi Council of Representatives condemns the Iranian bombardment of the border areas of Kurdistan region. While it expresses its deep concern regarding that, Iraqi Council of Representatives asks the Iraqi federal government to make all the diplomatic efforts for stopping these offensives and other kinds of aggressions into the Iraqi territories.

Iranian shelling resumed for about two hours Thursday morning, hitting the area around Bamo, in southern Sulaimaniyah on the edge of Diyala.

Iran began an accelerated campaign of artillery bombardment of the northeastern border area of Iraq over three weeks ago, focusing on areas of Sulaimaniyah where Kurdish rebels of the PJAK, the anti-Iranian version of the PKK, are reportedly concentrated.

On Thursday, Ali Larijani, Iran's top national security official, accused Washington of supporting PJAK attacks.

"The United States has become so weak that it is trying to strengthen groups like Pejak and other groups to carry out actions like blowing up oil pipelines in Iran," the official news agency IRNA quoted Larijani as saying.

Even as it accuses Washington of agitating inside Iran, Tehren has continued to deny its own conventional military actions against northern Iraq.

At a ministerial meeting in Tehren Monday, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari demanded Iran stop shelling northern Iraq, reporting that the onslaught had displaced hundreds of Kurds and was threatening Iraqi relations with Iran.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mehdi Mostafavi shot back by strongly denying the allegation and said that Iran has given proper responses to such allegations so far.

An incident Tuesday inside Iran does not bode well for any imminent improvement in the border tensions.

Seven Iranian policemen were killed in an overnight clash with "bandits" in Kermanshah province near the Iraqi border, ISNA news agency reported Wednesday.

It said police had not yet identified the gunmen, but quoted one official as saying they were "definitely related to anti-revolutionary groups."


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