Iran says independence vote to isolate Iraqi Kurds
Xinhua News Agency
TEHRAN, July 17 (Xinhua) -- The possible independence referendum of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region would isolate the Kurds, Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani said Monday.
"Although this could be an attractive topic, it will in fact isolate the Iraqi Kurds, will increase pressures on them and will virtually weaken the Kurds and Iraq," Shamkhani said in a meeting with the visiting first deputy for the secretary general of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Kosrat Rasul.
The stable, secure and unified Iraq will help the progress of the Iraqi nation, he said, adding that the friends of Iraq should support this approach.
Dividing and weakening Iraq will only benefit the enemies of Iraq, he stressed.
On Monday, Iran's army chief Major General Mohammad Hossein also touched upon the threat to the integrity of Iran's neighbors and said that at the time when the Iraqi army have defeated the Islamic State militants, talking of an independence referendum of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region would cause new problems and challenges in the region.
Besides, Iran's Foreign Ministry said earlier that the plan of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region to hold an independence referendum in September was inconsistent with the Iraqi constitution.
"The Kurdistan Region is part of the Republic of Iraq," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi said, adding that such unilateral decisions would only aggravate the situation in the Arab country.
A united, stable and democratic Iraq would guarantee the interests of all people of that country, he added.
On June 7, Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region announced that it has planned to hold a referendum on independence on Sept. 25 to decide whether to secede from Iraq. Enditem