The U.S. Treasury today branded the Kurdish group PJAK as a terrorist organisation. PJAK, an Iranian offshoot of the PKK, is based in Iraqi Kurdistan and announced last month that it was giving up its struggle to form an independent Kurdistan.
Stuart Levey, U.S. Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence said of today’s move, “With today’s action, we are exposing PJAK’s terrorist ties to the PKK and supporting Turkey’s efforts to protect its citizens from attack.”
Is Turkey behind this? The PKK was given the same designation back in 2004 by the EU and the U.S., with the U.S. Treasury freezing all the organisation’s assets.
Levey also said that this action “prohibits American citizens from doing business with the organisation.” There were reports last autumn that the U.S. was funding PJAK to fight a proxy war against Iran. Perhaps then this is an appeasement to the Iranians to begin U.S.-Iranian dialogue? It would (legally and/or symbolically) “stop” the “alleged” U.S. funding of PJAK. In the world of back channel geopolitics, this is most likely a small step in bringing the “Great Satan” closer to the Iranian table.
Daly, C. U.S. brands anti-Iran Kurdish group terrorist, Reuters UK, 04 February 2009, http://uk.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUKN04297671.