Iranian senior officials strongly against Iraqi Kurdish independence vote

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/9/19 7:29:15

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said Monday that the Iraqi Kurdish independence vote could be detrimental to the regional people.

Iraq and its neighboring countries, including Iran, are strongly opposed to a unilateral plan by the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government to hold an independence referendum, Larijani was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency.

The move could create problems, including economic losses, for the Iraqi nation, he stressed.

In addition, Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani said on Sunday that Iran would close its borders with the Iraqi Kurdistan if the region decided to secede from Iraq, Tasnim news agency reported.

The border agreements between Iran and the Kurdistan region were based on an integrated Iraq, said Shamkhani, stressing that "Iran definitely recognizes only the united, integrated and federal government of Iraq."

He warned that Iran would end its current military and security agreements with Erbil and renew its border security policy with the region, if the Kurdish regional government insisted on holding the referendum.

He also said that Iran might reconsider its stances and adopt different approaches to fight off the anti-Iranian groups in the Iranian Kurdistan region, if the vote is to continue.

Therefore, the Kurdish leadership should think twice and give up the independence referendum plan to avoid the "anti-security process" across the region, he added.

On Monday, a representative of Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government to Tehran reportedly said that there was still possibility to postpone the independence referendum.

"The Kurdistan Regional Government is studying the proposals by Turkey and the western states over the scheduled vote," Nazim Dabbagh told Iran's Farsi language Etemad newspaper.

"In case there are required guarantees for the rights of the Kurds, they will drop the independence referendum for the time being," Dabbagh said.

Moreover, Iraq's Supreme Court on Monday issued a verdict to stop the independence referendum.

On June 7, Iraq's Kurdish region announced that it had planned to hold a referendum on independence on Sept. 25 to decide whether or not to secede from Iraq.

Iran's political and military officials have announced their opposition to the Iraqi Kurds' referendum.

Turkey, Iran and Syria see that such a step would threaten their territorial integrity, as large populations of Kurds live in those countries.

Posted in: MID-EAST

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