Foreign Ministry Opens Office in Kurdestan
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Foreign Ministry officially opened an office in the city of Sanandaj, the provincial capital city of Iran's Kurdestan province on Monday, with the aim of facilitating economic, political and cultural relations with the Iraqi Kurdistan region.
The inauguration ceremony of the new foreign ministry office was held in the presence of the Governor General of Kurdestan Province Ali Reza Shahbazi and the head of the newly opened office, Mostafa Razavizadeh.
At the ceremony, Razavizadeh referred to the high industrial and export potentials of the Iranian Kurdestan province as a good reason for the opening of the Iranian Foreign Ministry office in Sanandaj, which he said “will help improve economic, political and cultural ties with the Iraqi Kurdistan region."
Iraqi Kurdistan is an autonomous region of northern Iraq. It borders Iran to the east, Turkey to the north, Syria to the west and the rest of Iraq to the south.
The regional capital is Arbil, known in Kurdish as Hewler. The region is officially governed by the Kurdistan Regional Government.
The region has enjoyed semi-autonomy within Iraq since the early 1990s, when an internationally-enforced no-fly zone prevented the forces of dictator Saddam Hussein from attacking it.
After the invasion of Iraq and fall of Saddam, the Kurds tried to ensure their region and its economy were not affected by the violence that ensued the occupation of the rest of the country.
Many Iranian firms have invested in the Iraqi Kurdistan region and Iran exports hundreds of millions of dollars worth of goods to the region every year.
Iran and Iraq’s Kurdistan have a visa waiver scheme in place to facilitate cross-border travels as part of a program of increased cooperation between the two sides.