Iran was the first country to provide Iraq’s embattled autonomous Kurdish region with weapons to fight off jihadist-led militants, president Massud Barzani said Tuesday.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran was the first state to help us … and it provided us with weapons and equipment,” Barzani said at a joint news conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Militants led by the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group launched a major offensive in June that overran large areas of Iraq, and began a renewed push earlier this month that saw Kurdish forces pushed back towards their regional capital of Arbil. […]