By Aref Youssef
ERBIL, Iraq (AA) – Northern Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) has declined a request by Tehran to extradite several Iranian dissidents, according to a KRG spokesman.
Sven Dzai told reporters on Thursday that the dissidents were “protected under international law”.
“Iranian dissidents living in the [Kurdish] region cannot be handed over to the Iranian authorities,” he said.
“Many of them have lived in the region — and in other parts of Iraq — since the 1980s,” he added.
“International law must be respected,” the spokesman said. “Political differences cannot be resolved through military means.”
Last Saturday, 16 people were killed when Iranian forces shelled a position in Iraq’s Kurdish region held by the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (IKDP).
Iranian state television later broadcast footage of Saturday’s artillery attack, which was reportedly carried out by Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Established in 1996, the IKDP is an Iranian-Kurdish separatist movement based in Erbil, the KRG’s administrative capital.