Following are excerpts from an interview with Iraqi Parliamentary Speaker Mahmoud Al-Mashhadani, which aired on Al-Fayhaa TV on November 12, 2007:
Mahmoud Al-Mashhadani: Who caused this [Kurdish-Turkish] crisis? This crisis was not caused by Baghdad, but by Ankara and America. Whoever started this tragedy should put an end to it, but this should not be at my expense. I am unable to provide security in Baghdad, where I am still bleeding, yet you expect me to maintain security in the Kandil Mountains for you, while your army, the second largest in the world, cannot defend your own border? What kind of logic is this? This is the logic of the arrogant. We've already experienced arrogance with Saddam, with Hitler, and with Bush. Saddam, in his arrogance, invaded Kuwait, and was humiliated. America, with all its strength, entered Iraq, and was publicly humiliated. This is Iraq. You are our neighbors, yet you don't know who we are? True, we are still bleeding. We have come out of surgery, and our wounds have not yet healed, but they will heal, and then we will discuss everything. I maintain brotherly relations with you, so why are you hostile towards me? I maintain your security, so why do you... Why do you make a decision to violate my sovereignty, and then get angry when I call this a mistake? How did you get to be so arrogant that you turn your backs on the entire Arab and Muslim nation? You went all the way to Israel to seek a solution to the Palestinian crisis, and to mediate between the Arabs and the Jews, yet you cannot find a solution for your own problem with your brothers, who are your neighbors and who take pride in their Ottoman nationality?
My country is run by the American army. If you, Erdoğan, have a problem, go to Washington and solve it with Bush. If not for his green light, you wouldn't have become the leader of Turkey.
We have no intention of returning to the past. This problem will have no effect on us, and will not cause a rift within Iraqi society. We were bleeding for 80 years because of the Kurdish issue, while they sat on the sidelines. They are getting burned by the same fire that used to burn us. But we will not allow them to harm a single Iraqi Kurd. This is where we draw the line, and we couldn't accept such a thing even from the caliph Abu Bakr – let alone from Erdoğan, who pretends to be a Muslim. In this sense, I cannot... In your country, there is a veto even on wearing the veil. Here, there is no problem with wearing the veil. In our democracy, one hand, we have gained more rights than you have in your country. But on the other hand, we are an occupied country. Come and help me get rid of the occupation, rather than conspiring with the occupation against me.