ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – Kurds are an important component of Iraq and should not work to harm the unity of the country, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Bahram Qassemi said on Monday.
Responding to a reporter’s question about the Kurdish independence referendum during a press conference, Qassemi stated Kurds had secured many of their rights in the constitution of Iraq within the national sovereignty and unity of the country.
He mentioned the Kurdish desire for independence was not new, and Iran supports the unity of Iraq.
“[Iran] will strongly stand against any measures taken with the aim to tear Iraq into pieces,” Qassemi informed.
The spokesperson noted Iran respects the sovereignty and unity of neighboring countries in the region and will not interfere in the internal affairs of any country.
The Kurdish leadership has called for an independence referendum in 2017.
“The people of the Kurdistan Region have the right to decide on their future,” the President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani previously said.
Kurdish officials repeatedly complain Baghdad has not treated the Kurds as real partners in the country, but rather as visitors.
Qassemi also commented on the recent Turkish airstrikes on Mount Shingal targeting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its affiliated groups.
“These actions might lead to destruction, and [Turkey] must be advised to stop it,” he said.
The official hoped Iraqi forces and the Federal Government of Iraq would continue efforts in the fight against the Islamic State in the north of the country to liberate the area from “terrorists.”
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany