US behind Iraqi Kurdistan’s secession attempt: Iran’s Top General

Tasnim – Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri said “a secret team” from the US provoked authorities in Iraq’s Kurdistan region to hold an independence referendum despite Washington’s pretense of opposing the vote.

“The US, via a secret advisory team, provoked the leaders of the Kurdistan region to hold a referendum… so that it could later pretend to have been faced a fait accompli and accept the outcome of the referendum,” Major General Baqeri said in a speech on Tuesday.

In fact, the US government expressed fake opposition to this independence referendum held by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), the commander said.

He went on to say that in this sedition, the vigilance of the Iraqi people and government as well as the religious leadership of the Arab country led to the cancellation of the result of the referendum and subsequently, without any war and bloodshed, the areas controlled by the KRG were recaptured by the Baghdad government.

People in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq voted for independence on September 25 in a controversial referendum, amid rising tensions and international opposition.

The referendum set off a chain of events, culminating in a military confrontation between Erbil and Baghdad.

Iraqi government forces launched a major operation in Kirkuk on October 16 and took control of its oil fields and a strategic military base without any armed clashes.

Analysts believe that the decision to hold the referendum in the face of near-universal condemnation was a colossal miscalculation, saying Barzani has undermined his legitimacy.

The KRG announced on Wednesday it is prepared to freeze the results of the referendum.