1235 GMT November 21, 2017
Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council slammed the decision to hold an independence referendum in the Iraqi Kurdistan region in September saying the move would eventually lead to the weakening of Iraq.
Ali Shamkhani added, although the issue sounds attractive, in fact, it would ostracize Iraqi Kurds, cause pressure on them to rise and eventually weaken the region and the entire country, IRNA reported.
He made the remarks on Monday in a meeting with the members of a high-ranking delegation dispatched by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) to Iran comprising PUK’s Deputy Secretary General Kosrat Rasul, as its head, as well as Mala Bakhtiar and Mahmud Sangawi, the PUK’s politburo members.
Commenting on the latest developments in the Iraqi Kurdistan region and the Middle East, Shamkhani said the Iraqi forces’ victory over Daesh and the liberation of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul from the terrorists promise a brighter future for an integrated Iraq and will help the Iraqi government foil foreign plots and seditious schemes aimed at dividing the country.
He added Iraq’s greater stability, safety, security and unity will guarantee the country’s sustainable development. All friendly and benevolent countries which have cordial relations with Iraq should back this strategy, Shamkhani stressed.
In April, the representatives of the two main Kurdish parties of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) discussed the issue of a separation referendum and decided to hold the vote this year.
He said holding an independence referendum is neither in line with the policies formulated by Iraqi authorities nor is it a proper reflection of their prudence as it is a marginal issue and fails to address Iraqi nation’s real need and priorities. It will also lead to the division of the country.
SNSC secretary added certain states within and outside the region seek to weaken Iraq and West Asia’s major countries.
He noted that the outlandish colonialist plots, such as the “Greater Middle East”, are required to be foiled by being cognizant and heedful of the national interests and those of the Muslim world.
Shamkhani said the Islamic Republic of Iran wishes greater security, accelerated and sustainable economic development and improved welfare for the parties, groups and people in northern Iraq.
Achieving these goals is a main obstacle to the activities, formation and growth of terrorist groups.
Speaking at the same meeting, Rasul presented a report on the latest developments and status quo in the Iraqi Kurdistan region and said Iran has always supported Iraq’s Kurds.
He stressed that the bond between Iran and the Iraqi Kurdistan is historical and civilizational. “Iraqi Kurdistan region is proud of its friendship with the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
Praising the decisive role Iran played in support of the Iraqi Kurdistan region and its people by ensuring their security at the time of Daesh’s invasion, he said Iran was the only country that stood by the region’s people, fought Daesh and prevented the occurrence of a security disaster in the region when the Takfiri terrorists were at the gates of Erbil.