Tasnim – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif denounced the recent moves by a few people in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region as a “strategic” mistake and said, however, the Islamic Republic does not blame the Iraqi Kurds for the mistake made by some individuals.
Speaking on the sidelines of the funeral procession of the Iraqi Kurdish leader and former president, Jalal Talabani, in Sulaymaniyah on Friday, Zarif reiterated Tehran’s opposition to the independence vote recently held by Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
However, he said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran is an everlasting friend of the Iraqi people, including the Kurds of this country, and does not consider the strategic mistakes made by certain individuals as those of the Iraqi Kurdish people.”
He further expressed the hope that all sides in the Kurdistan Region would return to the same path of the late Talabani, who was the symbol of Iraq’s unity and territorial integrity.
Heading a high-ranking delegation, Zarif arrived in Sulaymaniyah on Friday to participate in the funeral service for the late secretary-general of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).
The Iraqi Kurdistan Region went ahead with its plan to hold the referendum on September 25 although Iraq’s neighbors and countries in the Middle East, including Iran and Turkey, had voiced opposition to such a move and supported the Baghdad central government.
Thousands of Kurdish people in favor of KRG’s secession from Iraq took to the streets in Erbil that night, with some waving Israeli flags to celebrate.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the only leader in the region to endorse the referendum, while all neighbors have warned that the secession plan would bring instability to the region and disintegrate Iraq.