ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – An Iranian official on Friday accused Washington of being two-faced regarding the Kurdistan Region’s independence referendum scheduled for Sep. 25, 2017.
“Washington is declaring its opposition to the Kurdish referendum but, in reality, it supports the break-up of Iraq and the Middle East,” Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, the spokesperson for the Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy, told a local Iranian news agency.
Tehran is one of the few countries which has voiced strong opposition toward the Kurdistan Region’s independence referendum, extending support for a united Iraq.
“Our experience with the Americans has taught us that the US policy, in reality, is different from what the US officials are saying to the media,” Hosseini added.
In the past months, Washington has repeatedly expressed its concern about the timing of the Region’s referendum.
US officials have stated the independence referendum will distract from other priorities such as the defeat of the Islamic State (IS) in northern Iraq.
The President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani, along with other Kurdish officials, insisted on holding the vote, stating the people of Kurdistan have the right to decide on their future democratically and peacefully.
“The Kurdish regional referendum will be like a suicide bomber in the heart of Iraq and the Middle East,” the Iranian spokesperson noted.
Disrespecting Kurdistan’s decision, Hosseini claimed the Region has no credibility and necessary factors in the international arena.
“The violation of Iraqi territorial integrity and the attempts to disintegrate the country will lead to the formation of dangerous threats in the Middle East,” he said.
Kurdish officials have emphasized the independence of Kurdistan is only related to the Iraqi Kurds and will not change the borders of neighboring countries Turkey, Iran, and Syria who have a large population of Kurds.
Officials in Kurdistan have repeatedly asked Tehran not to interfere in the internal affairs of the Region and Iraq, stating the matter needs to be resolved and discussed between Erbil and Baghdad, not other countries.
With a population of nearly six million, the Kurdistan Region is home to about two million refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who fled IS from Syria and the rest of Iraq
An independent Kurdish state has been the dream of almost all 40 million Kurds around the globe. They are believed to be the largest stateless nation in the world.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany