Parastin (Kurdish for protection[1]) is a government agency and the primary investigative arm belonging to the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq.[2] The organization was first established in 1968 by the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iraq. It has been sometimes referred to as a "Kurdish intelligence service".[3] The primary function of the agency is investigation of crimes relating to both the internal and external security of the Kurdistan region.[4] The agency officially has no power to arrest or detain but shares intelligence with the Kurdistan intelligence agency, Asayish, which holds jurisdiction over a number of crimes in the region including terrorism.[5]

Although founded and funded by the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iraq, it officially acts under the command of the Kurdistan Regional Government.[6]

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