Iran Deploys Tanks To Border With Iraqi Kurdistan

Days before last week's Kurdistan referendum, Iran took steps to isolate and punish the Iraqi Kurdistan region and the government in Erbil (KRG). This included closing Iranian airspace to northern Iraq's two international airports and sending Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard forces to conduct drills along the northwest border with Kurdistan, but in the early hours of Monday Iran dramatically escalated its military build-up along the border by deploying dozens of tanks supported by artillery - this according to a Kurdish government official and Iranian state television.

The Kurdish official confirmed the tank build-up, saying "The tanks can be seen from the Kurdish side.” And Iranian state TV on Saturday indicated that Iran and Iraq would cooperate in joint drills and the establishment of heightened border security, to the point that Iran would "receive Iraqi forces that are to be stationed at border posts”.

Iranian government officials had warned just prior to last week's referendum that, “The republic of Iran has opened its legitimate border gates on the premise of the consent of the federal government of the Iraqi state. If such an event [referendum] happens, these border gates from the perspective of the Islamic Republic of Iran would lose its legitimacy." It appears Iran is now making good on its threats as it worries that an independent Kurdistan at its border would be a destabilizing force concerning Iran's own sizable Kurdish minority.

Last week multiple videos and images surfaced in Iranian social media purporting to show Iranian state police and security forces deploying to the Kurdish towns in Iran's north. Multiple reports indicate pro-Kurdistan demonstrations took place in various Kurdish Iranian towns in response to the Erbil government's referendum, something strictly banned and thus a rarity in the Islamic Republic. Iran's Kurdish population numbers over 6 million out of a total population of about 80 million people - most of which are concentrated in a northwest strip of land which runs along the border with Iraqi Kurdistan as well as in a small northeast pocket.

According to Iraqi Kurdish network Rudaw English, Iran launched a major crackdown with dozens of arrests reported in Iran's northwest region in the days following the referendum:

Two Iranian Kurdish political parties and a human rights watchdog all reported “scores” of arrests after thousands took to the streets in Kurdish cities of Iran chanting Biji Kurdistan, long live Kurdistan, and waving Kurdistan flags to celebrate the success of the independence referendum next door. Flying the Kurdistan flag and singing the national anthem are forbidden in Iran. 

Iranian intelligence and security forces have set up a joint command center “for the purpose of identifying and arresting the organizers of the demonstrations,” the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) stated. They are reportedly analyzing video footage of the gatherings. 

Furthermore it appears that Iranian TV sent a message to its broader Kurdish population indicating that all activities were being monitored by authorities:

The Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) reported that Iranian police were closely monitoring the demonstrations that attracted rare attention in the country. “Iranian state television on Tuesday acknowledged the rallies, a rarity in the Islamic Republic broadcast,” the group stated. 

As we previously explained, the Kurdish referendum pushed Iraq into the arms of Iran when the relationship between the Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Abadi and Iranian officials was at its lowest level. But after the KRG's insistence on pushing forward with moves toward independence, Abadi sees in Iran the only sincere partner to count on, and can rely on the Iranian Army and Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in the case of any military escalation against Kurdistan, particularly in the disputed Iraqi cities, with Kirkuk at the top of the list.

Map source: Iran Times

Baghdad is confident that Iraqi Kurdistan President Masoud Barzani didn’t take this step without a blessing from the Americans, despite official US opposition to the referendum. It seems Washington decided to swap its relationship with Baghdad with that of Erbil because it won’t be able to support both at the same time.

Supporting Erbil is more attractive to the US and its regional allies (particularly Saudi Arabia), in the hope that the Kurdish Iraqi move would trigger the appetite of the Kurdish Iranians (and the Syrian Kurds who are already on this same path). If this happens and we observe an uprising in Iran, which the Saudis would certainly support, the Iranian economy and that of the government of Baghdad will both be under severe pressure.

Iran supported Barzani in 2014 and provided him with weapons (at a time when the US was denying any support to Iraq, during the 6 months after the fall of Mosul in 2014), but it is today in an undeclared war against Erbil, fully behind Baghdad’s measures and supporting future escalation and punitive steps.


War Machine Broken_Trades Mon, 10/02/2017 - 14:08 Permalink

The US is and has been helping the Kurds in Syria and Iraq. With materiel and intel and lots of CIA and JSOC advisers.

Don't believe the rhetoric from State re opposing kurdistan because frankly what International Zionist Jewry wants, Trump will deliver.…

"In the Oded Yinon plan, which is the plan for a “Greater Israel,” it states the imperative use of Kurds to help divide neighboring countries in order to aid in their plans for greater domination. Interestingly enough, Kurds brush this alliance off as being just another step in achieving their ultimate goal of creating an autonomous Kurdistan."…

Barzani is literally an Israeli agent.

The war in Syria is far from over. Golan needs to be better secured for the Israelis then the idea is to have Trump help with a true assault on Hezbollah since the Israeli military is not especially capable on the ground and naturally they prefer the goyim pay the price.

And Trump will help. Lebanon/Hez needs to be pavified before the assault on Iran, a decap type thing with some nonsense about targeting its non-existent 'nuclear program.'

Only moves for Russia is to get out and defend in E Ukraine and Chechnya, or be willing to hit Israeli military targets - the neocon analysis presupposes Israel not pay any real price.

In reply to by Broken_Trades

HRClinton War Machine Mon, 10/02/2017 - 14:31 Permalink

The dumbass Kurds are just convenient pawns for ISISrael and the US.Their disposable use is to   > Get at Iran   > Keep encircling Russia like a boa encircles and squeezes its prey   > Block the OBOR route via Afghanistan and Iran, to keep the USD on top.W/o the US as its proxy/vassal army and and free ZioFed Bucks, ISISrael is toast. No hope for Erez (Greater) Israel, and honest negotiations with Palestinians would be required.The Rothschild-controlled Israel wants only its way, and no other way. Ever.

In reply to by War Machine

el buitre ipso_facto Mon, 10/02/2017 - 16:23 Permalink

When will the Kurdish Air Force (which suspiciously resembles the USAF) destroy the tanks?When Iran pleads buyer's remorse and returns all its S-400's to Russia for a refund.  Don't hold your breath.It's reputed that the S-400's don't miss, at least don't miss fighters and bombers.  And the US F-35 cost about 800 times as much.  These economics should prove interesting to the USA and Russian taxpayers.

In reply to by ipso_facto

Jim in MN Mon, 10/02/2017 - 12:07 Permalink

Just yesterday on the BBC: the end of the LAST war in Latin America. I am telling you, entire continents are at peace for first time in generations, and no one wants to talk about it.'s largest active rebel group, the ELN, has begun a temporary ceasefire with the authorities - for the first time in more than 50 years.The truce began on Sunday and is set to extend until mid-January.President Juan Manuel Santos says he hopes it will serve as a first step to achieving peace with the group.It follows a landmark peace deal between the authorities and the much larger Farc rebel group last year, which ended five decades of conflict.

historian40 gatorengineer Mon, 10/02/2017 - 20:53 Permalink

Nah.  They use people like these "Kurds" to splinter nations they couldn't conquer as a whole.  If you have a country where a certain area is rich in oil, then the zionists come in and take that piece.  Then the greater victim nation is vulnerable, then come the offers of "help", the chains.Syria is another example, where they are setting up enclaves, and the whole has been devastated and will be dependent on foreign help.  The jews made a move for Syrian resources using the claim that the Syrian government didn't have control, while at the same time the zionist state was supporting the terrorists causing the chaos, up to and including openly launching attacks against the Syrian nation.They have no scruples.  Read how the Jews treated Jesus and the apostles and other belivers.  Lies, conspiring, paying false witnesses, gathering mobs, threatening government, murder....  The traditions that led to that are still at work in those calling themselves "jews" today.

In reply to by gatorengineer

dogismycopilot Mon, 10/02/2017 - 12:22 Permalink

Do you like fois gras? So does the CIA.The CIA recipe is to force feed guns and money into Iraq and Syria.Then they and John McCain sit down to a nice dinner of liver and beans with their liver eating asshole friends.  

RedBaron616 Mon, 10/02/2017 - 12:26 Permalink

Thank you, George Bush II, for totally destabilizing the region for the next 100 years at least. Iran and Iraq were enemies. Now they speak as one. Brilliant. Thanks for getting us in a war that didn't need to be fought over allegations that were nothing but a pack of lies. Sit down there and do your stupid paintings. If you had an conscience, you would be a train wreck. Naturally, you aren't. Did your bit for the NWO. Screw the Americans who died for your pack of lies.

ogretown Mon, 10/02/2017 - 12:32 Permalink

High theater at its best!  It should be interesting if Iran (rightfully) decides to take issue, and more importantly - take action against the Kurds for arbitrarily trying to annex a huge slice of Iran.  How will the Western media react?  Especially if Madrid moves armed forces into Catalonia.  Two groups wanting and voting for independence. If the western governments and their media lackeys want to get all pissy about Iran wanting to keep its country intact, then they have to get equally pissy with Madrid not allowing Catalan to secede.   

NoWayJose Mon, 10/02/2017 - 16:18 Permalink

Gee, how successful have invaders been attacking and attempting to occupy a desert/mountain area like Afghanistan or Kurdistan or Syria or Iraq or Etc, Etc, Etc...