ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – A senior Iranian official on Sunday warned that Iran would close all its borders with the Kurdistan Region should the Region hold the referendum on independence later this month.
The Kurdish leadership has insisted on holding the vote on Sep. 25 “democratically and peacefully” despite the opposition of neighboring countries and major powers in the West.
Ali Shamkhani, the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council stated the legitimacy of the current border crossings between the Kurdistan Region and Iran is based on the territorial integrity of a united Iraq.
He warned that the Kurdish referendum, and subsequent secession from Iraq, would result in the closure of all the border crossings with the Kurdistan Region.
“Iran definitely recognizes only the united, integrated and federal government of Iraq,” Shamkhani stated.
Kurdish officials have repeatedly stated that Iraq is divided in reality and it has never truly been a united country.
The Iranian official noted that secession would put an end to all the security and military agreements between Iran and the Kurdistan Region, claiming Tehran would implement new security policies on its borders.
Iran has been one of the neighboring countries to strongly expressed its opposition to the referendum of the Kurdistan Region from the very beginning.
The Kurdish leadership has emphasized the right to self-determination as a guaranteed universal right, and has declared its interest in maintaining a dialogue with Baghdad regarding future relations between both nations.
Editing by G.H. Renaud