Sunday, March 30 2003 @ 04:42 PM MSD
|IRAN has urged Turkey not to intervene in northern Iraq, despite their shared fears that the region's Kurdish minority will exploit the US-led war to pursue greater autonomy.|
"We understand and share Turkey's concerns but we do not approve of Turkish forces entering Iraq," Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi told a news conference here.
"We are obviously worried and we have told our Turkish friends not to dispatch their forces."
Both Iran and Turkey fear the US-led war will lead to Kurdish rebels winning control of Iraq's northern oil capital of Kirkuk, making them more self-sufficient economically and a potential beacon for unrest among their own much larger Kurdish minorities.
Turkey last week gave assurances that it would abide by repeated US calls to stay out of the Iraq war, but Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan made clear yesterday it was ultimately a decision for Ankara alone.