According to the US embassy the Kurdish leaders are smart leaders. “Kurdish leaders such as Talabani and Barzani will likely exploit their political strength among Shia/Sunni counterparts to protect and expand Kurdish influence in a future government,” the report notes.
But it also shows that the US sees the Kurds playing a major role to bring a pro-Iranian government to power with the coming to power of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
“Iran’s historic ties to the PUK, and to a lesser extent KDP officials, make the Kurds an important element in ensuring a pro-Iranian Shia victory in the election. INA officials are confident that the Kurds will join their coalition, all but guaranteeing an election victory.”
Gorran Position Unknown
Wikileaks’ documents say that the US embassy is yet to know the position of the Kurdish opposition party Gorran towards Iran. Gorran is led by Nawshirwan Mustafa, former deputy-leader of the PUK, Talabani’s party, which the US sees as a pro-Iranian party,according to Wikileaks cables.
“Gorran is committed to unseating the PUK (and Talabani) in Sulaimani province but needs financial backing to ensure its long-term viability in the KRG and national politics. Iran could conceivably alleviate Gorran’s financial woes, particularly through its close ties with the Kurdish Jaff tribe, some of whom are Goran members. However, doing so would undermine the IRIG’s [Iran’s] valued relationship with Talabani, while also proving exceedingly duplicitous, even by IRIG and KRG standards.”
Turkey Is Iran’s Rival in Kurdistan
Other parts of the leak show that Turkey is seen as the biggest economic competitor of Iran in Iraq, particularly in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Furthermore in February 2010 Turkey hoped for an early action plan from the US government to elicit more support from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) against the leadership of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Other documents show the US government is highly suspicious over the Islamist background of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey.
Wladimir Van Wilgenburg
November 28, 2010