Iranian officials deny arrest of Kurdish PKK leader   2011-08-15 23:34:13 FeedbackPrintRSS

TEHRAN, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Iranian officials on Monday denied the arrest by the Iranian security forces of a top leader of Turkey's outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK).

Iranian lawmaker Alaeddin Boroujerdi, who confirmed on Sunday the arrest of PKK's second top leader Murat Karayilan by the Iranian security forces, denied the reports Monday.

Boroujerdi, chairman of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of Iran's Majlis (parliament), confirmed Sunday reports by the Turkish media that the Islamic Republic has arrested Karayilan, saying that "the news is true. Iranian intelligence forces have arrested the terrorist group's number two. "

"Our intelligence forces have carried out a great work," he was quoted as saying by the semi-official Mehr news agency.

However, Boroujerdi dismissed on Monday the reports about the arrest of Karayilan as "incorrect," adding that these reports should be verified, according to local ISNA news agency.

Another local official in Iran's West Azerbaijan province rejected the Turkish media reports that Iranian security forces have captured Karayilan.

Speaking to the Mehr, Issa Qanbari, the deputy governor general for security affairs of West Azerbaijan province, denied the news and said that "now the security on the border between West Azerbaijan and Iraq is at the highest level."

The official IRNA news agency said Monday that an Iran-Turkey gas pipeline in eastern Turkey that borders Iran's West Azerbaijan province was blasted by PKK on Friday and will be repaired in the near future.

The blast disrupted Iran's gas flow to Turkey early Friday.

Commenting on the recent moves of the Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK) near the Iran-Iraq border, Qanbari said the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) forces operating in the region stormed their defensive lines and demolished their strongholds.

He also pointed to the heavy casualties inflicted on the PJAK, saying that "due to the powerful presence of IRGC forces and border guards, about 150 PJAK members were killed and others were compelled to retreat."

The western Iran witnessed regular armed clashes between the Iranian security forces and Kurdish militant parties, in particular PJAK, an anti-Iran Kurdish group linked to PKK.

The Iranian Ambassador to Iraq Hassan Danaiifar announced Monday that Iran and Iraq's Kurdish region will soon establish a joint committee to unite in the struggle against PJAK, an offshoot of PKK which regularly engages in armed clashes with the Iranian security forces along the country's northwestern borders with Iraq 's Kurdish region.

The issue of PJAK should be resolved through mutual cooperation between Iran and Iraq's Kurdish region, Danaiifar told Mehr.

Iranian officials and the Iraqi Kurdish region's officials have started to take some measures with the aim of establishing a joint committee comprising high-ranking military officials, Danaiifar was quoted as saying.

Commenting on claims that the issue of PJAK has strained Tehran- Baghdad relations, he said that "relations between Iran and Iraq are stronger than to be (negatively) affected by issues like PJAK. "

Iraqi officials are seeking to hammer out a solution and "we are ready to settle the issue through mutual cooperation," Danaiifar added.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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