Barzani: Iraq is in danger
The Kurds say that the current situation is not acceptable. Baghdad is using pressure cards to stop Kurdistan from exporting oil independently
At his strong speech at the burial ceremony for the remains of 93 Anfal victims of the Barzani tribe at Erbil International Airport, Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani criticized the Iraqi government very strongly, saying they were seeking to “break the pride and dignity of the Kurds and Kurdistan”.
He also stated that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) would reply to Baghdad in a way that they “have never imagined”.
Regarding the pending issues between Erbil and Baghdad and a way to resolve them, Barzani added that the current situation between the two capitals cannot continue this way.
Addressing Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Barzani said: “Someone who is Prime Minister and the commander of all a nation’s armed forces should be truthful.”
“Iraq is in danger”, said Barzani, adding that democracy, federalism and coexistence are at risk. In a strong message to Baghdad, Barzani said that: “Being a partner in Iraq no longer has any meaning”.
He also shed light on the Er- bil-Baghdad disputes, saying that the issue is neither oil nor the budget--it is bigger than that: Baghdad wants to break the dignity of the Kurds.
He stated that having lost so many martyrs and made so many sacrifices, the people of Kurdistan would never step backwards. He stressed that the Kurds want to go forwards.
He warned Iraqi Shiite leaders in Baghdad that if they continue to use pressure against the KRG, the Kurds will take a stance strong beyond their imagining. “Let them wait and see whether the Kurds can do so,” Barzani said.
The President said that the problem is rooted in the way Iraqi leaders think about ruling the country. He stated they want the Kurds to become secondclass Iraqi citizens, as they were under the former aggressive Iraqi regimes.
Iraq’s leaders, Barzani said, don’t wants the Kurds to express their opinion, adding that Bagdad treats the Kurdistan Region like a province of Iraq.
“The Kurdish delegation have visited Baghdad several times to resolve the problems, but they have blocked the salaries of Kurdish employees. This is a hostile and aggressive act. This is not negotiable.”
We have not learned, Barzani said, to live under tyranny. He announced that the Kurds played a major role in drawing up the current constitution, which has been violated over the past years. He said the Kurds intended to see an Iraq whose every component, including Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen, Christians and others live in peace.
In a direct message to Baghdad, Barzani stated that ErbilBaghdad relations are in need of review, because it is hard to continue in this situation.
The dispute between the two sides has been simmering since the Kurds decided to handle oil exports through an independent pipeline to Turkey. The Iraqi government insists that selling oil and natural resources should be done through the State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO), but the KRG has thus far rejected Baghdad’s suggestion.
The Kurds say the constitution gives them the right to handle and use their natural resources, but the Iraqi government interprets the constitution in a different way, saying the central government should supervise the sale of all natural resources.
However, in an earlier speech, Barzani said that cutting Kurdistan share of the national budget is like a declaration of war against the people of Kurdistan.