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Rudaw

Kurdistan

Iran: Independence referendum will isolate, weaken Kurdistan

By Rudaw 17/7/2017
A PUK delegation met with Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, in Tehran on Monday. Photo: Fars News
A PUK delegation met with Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, in Tehran on Monday. Photo: Fars News
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Iran has warned a visiting Kurdish delegation that an independence referendum will isolate and weaken Kurdistan.

“Although this issue might be attractive in appearance, but actually, it will isolate and pressure the Iraqi Kurds and weaken Kurdistan and finally all of Iraq,” Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, said in Tehran on Monday.

“A peaceful, stable and united Iraq is what gives the country security and development. Friendly and neighboring countries should support Iraq,” Shamkhani said, according to Mihr agency.

He accused regional and international countries of trying to weaken Iraq. 

He made his comments in a meeting with members of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), including Kosrat Rasul and Mala Bakhtiar. 

The PUK delegation reportedly thanked Iran for their support, noting historical ties between Tehran and Iraqi Kurds, according to IRNA.

The meeting was a friendly one, “in which strengthening relations between Iran and the Kurdistan Region was stressed,” Nazim Dabagh, the Kurdistan government’s representative to Iran, told Rudaw. 

He said Iran expressed support for the achievement of Kurdish rights within the framework of Iraq’s constitution.

Iran, which backs the Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi armed force and holds influence over Baghdad, has expressed strong opposition to the Kurdish referendum, instead calling for a united Iraq. 

“Iraq’s national sovereignty and integrity benefits all residents of the country and any change can make the country face chaos and crisis,” a spokesperson for Iran’s foreign ministry, Bahram Qassemi, said in a weekly press conference, according to Fars News.

He said that Iraq’s integrity is “not negotiable,” noting that Tehran has ties with the central government and Iraqi ethnic groups. 

The PUK visit to Iran is at the request of Tehran, Dabagh told Rudaw on the weekend. 

In a meeting in Erbil on Sunday with Iran’s ambassador to Iraq, Kurdistan Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani told Ambassador Iraj Masjedi that Tehran could play a positive role in resolving outstanding issues between Erbil and Baghdad. 

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Muraz Adzhoev | 17/7/2017
So, PUK's delegation went to Tehran just to listen submissively to very derogatory and threatening warnings of the Iranian regime's authorities? And what will Kosrat Rasul ala Mala Bakhtiar say to the People and the authorities of Kurdistan about their visit to Iran - that "The meeting was a friendly one, “in which strengthening relations between Iran and the Kurdistan Region was stressed,”? How can the KRG afford to have such a sycophant pro-Iranian representative in Tehran.
Non kurd | 17/7/2017
Iranian terrorists are just mad that large part of a Iraqi Society will no longer be under their control and subjugation.
Hejar | 17/7/2017
First, Iran knows very well the constant war and oppression in Iraq and second, it's beyond me why they would want to hold Iraq together. Kurdish independence would actually be in their interest. If they think they will control Iraq long-term, they are mistaken. Let's be clear-eyed here, if Isis does not attack the Kurds and drag them into this war (and as a result, the US-led coalition), they would be attacking inside Iran and Syria would be under their control. And that can happen again with much more effectiveness. Iran has many enemies in the region and so they need to look at this from a different angle. They should not listen or follow Turkey, who is playing every side of this conflict. Iran should reach out to Kurds in a much more sincere way because there is a natural bond between its peoples which can serve as a strong foundation for everlasting friendship. This would be a much more effective strategy than the constant stick approach which has failed throughout history.
bain | 17/7/2017
"He said that Iraq’s integrity is not negotiable,” we'll see about that!
S | 17/7/2017
If Iran thinks it isolate and weakens kurdistan why dont THY SUPPORTIT THAN? THATS WHAT THEY WANT? DESTROY THE KURDS

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