Meets with senior Kurdish leaders

Iran’s acting foreign minister visits Kurdistan Region

ERBIL – Kurdistan Democratic Party leader Masoud Barzani met with Iran’s Acting Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani on Friday in Salahaddin, Erbil, to discuss enhancing bilateral relations between Erbil and Tehran. Their talks focused on economic, trade, and cultural cooperation.

Bagheri Kani expressed appreciation for the Kurdistan Region’s stance on the recent helicopter crash that claimed the lives of Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi and his companions, including Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

In a separate meeting with Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani, Bagheri Kani thanked Kurdish authorities for facilitating Iranian pilgrims’ trips to Shia holy sites in southern Iraq. Barzani emphasized the need for good relations with Iran, calling it “an important country and neighbor” with which Kurdistan has historical ties.

Bagheri Kani also met with Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Masrour Barzani. Following the meeting, the Kurdish prime minister stated on X that “the KRG values its relations with its neighbors and does not allow any group to use the Kurdistan Region to threaten their security. Our ties will be guided by mutual respect and shared interests, including economic ones.”

Bagheri Kani later flew to Sulaymaniyah and met with KRG Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani. Both officials stressed the need for further cooperation and strengthening relations between Kurdistan and Iran. Bagheri Kani also visited the grave of Kurdish leader and former Iraqi President Jalal Talabani. Additionally, he met with PUK leader Bafel Talabani to discuss bilateral relations.

Bagheri Kani’s visit to Kurdistan follows a recent rapprochement in Tehran-Erbil relations. In recent years, Iran and its aligned armed groups in Iraq have attacked several targets inside the Kurdistan Region. Last month, Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani visited Tehran, meeting with senior Iranian officials including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, then-President Ebrahim Raisi, and senior commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.