Zarif & Barzani

Masoud Barzani, the head of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region, has confirmed that Iran has been providing weapons to the Kurdish resistance against ISIS extremists.

In a joint conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Barzani said: “The Islamic Republic of Iran was the first state to help us… and it provided us with weapons and equipment.”

Large areas of Iraq have been subject to attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and Kurdistan and its capital of Erbil have recently faced a serious push from ISIS forces.

ISNA reports that Zarif said Iran has no military presence in Kurdistan but it has had various forms of military collaboration with Iraq’s central government as well the Autonomous Kurdish region.

Zarif added that ISIS is a threat to Iraq, Shias, Sunnis, religious and minority groups and the people in the region. “Even those who at first ignored them or even supported them” are threatened by ISIS, he said.

Zarif added that Iran stands by the people of Iraq and supports an all-encompassing state in Iraq.

“We support any form of agreement between the Autonomous Kurdistan Region and the central Iraqi government,” Zarif stated.