The Iranian government on Saturday condemned the Kurdish move towards independence in northern Iraq, urging all parties to “respect the Iraqi constitution and maintain unity.”
“This unilateral move by Erbil (capital of Iraqi Kurdistan) is unacceptable,” the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Bahram Qasimi said on Saturday.
The Iranian statement comes in response to the announcement by the president of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Masoud Barzani, that September 25 will be a referendum day on Kurdish independence.
“The Kurdistan region is a part of Iraq, and it cannot be separated from the country,” Qasimi stressed, calling Kurdistan’s independence referendum “an irresponsible move”.
The Iranian spokesman called for dialogue between Erbil and Baghdad to solve the rifts “instead of pursuing separatist agendas”.
On Friday, the Iraqi central government also rejected the referendum. “No party can, on its own, decide the fate of Iraq, in isolation from the other parties,” said Saad al-Haddithi, Iraqi government spokesman. “Iraq is constitutionally a democratic, federal country with full sovereignty … Any measure from any side in Iraq should be based on the constitution.”
Turkey has also expressed worries about the Kurdish move.
However, the Iraqi Kurds say that foreign countries should not interfere in the region’s affairs.
“When we talk about a referendum, we talk about Kurdistan in Iraq only,” KRG’s foreign relations chief Falah Mustafa Bakir said, in a message to the neighbouring countries that have their own Kurdish populations, and fear Kurdish independence will inspire their own Kurds to seek more independence.
Reporting by: Salar Qassim | Source: ARA News
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