Iranian officials warn against separatist moves in Iraq

September 27, The Iran Project – Despite opposition by the Iraqi federal government and regional states, as well as international warnings, the independence referendum was held in some northern Iraqi provinces, including Erbil, Sulaymaniyah, Duhok, and some disputed regions like Kirkuk.

So far several Iranian officials have voiced their opposition over the move, warning that the referendum will cause tension not only in Iraq but the whole region.

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said it is unfortunate that while the issue of terrorism in Iraq has not been resolved, the Iraqi Kurdistan region is creating another crisis in the country.

“We consider Iraq a friendly neighbor country,” Ali Larijani said on Tuesday, adding that Iran has always supported various Iraqi groups, including Shias, Sunnis and Kurdish people, as we consider them our friends.

Meanwhile, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami in a meeting with the Turkish Ambassador to Iran Reza Hakan Tekin, in a reference to the Kurdish semi-autonomous region referendum for independence, said the Islamic Republic is opposed to any type of change in the geographical borders and partition of the regional countries.

“This issue will cause problem for the region, Iraqi people and in particular the Iraqi Kurdistan (region),” Hatami added.

Tekin, for his part, said that the Iraqi Kurdistan region’s unilateral decision for holding the referendum is a source of concern and can cause instability in the region, adding that: “We expect the KRG officials to show good will and stop their unilateral measures which are against the Iraqi constitution.”

Parliament Speaker Special Aide for International Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian also in a meeting with French Head of the International Diplomatic Academy Michel Duclos said chaos in the region will further bolster terrorism, adding that any political vacuum inside Iraq will provide terrorist groups with a new opportunity.