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What will Iran make of the Kurdistan referendum?

What will Iran make of the Kurdistan referendum?

Kurdistan plans to go for an independence referendum as the semiautonomous region prepares to break away from Iraq. Since 1970, the region has been under the rule of the government of Iraq but is trying to change its independence state by going for a referendum. But, Iran has been observing the development quite closely. Some Iranian experts fear that the development in Kurdistan would spark a domino effect across the entire Middle East. In an interview with Sputnik, the Iranian experts shared their side of the story regarding Tehran’s stance on the forthcoming referendum and subsequent independence from Iraq. Iran is not the only country to have voiced its concerns over Kurdistan’s desire to detach itself from Baghdad’s control. Many neighboring countries have had a say over the development in Kurdistan. However, Iran has been the most recent to comment on the Kurd’s decision to breakaway from Baghdad’s influence. Tehran’s experts are concerned about the outcome of the result adding that it will have a significant impact on the Middle East as a whole. Despite this admittance, Tehran has still indicated that it will be more than glad to support the outcome of the vote. Experts from Tehran are still willing to respect the outcome of the referendum even though they are fully aware of the impact it is likely to have on the Middle East as a whole. The Iranian experts brought this to light in an interview with Sputnik television. Earlier this month, President of the Kurdistan region had stated that the region is seeking independence from the government in Baghdad. According to a statement made by the region’s president Masoud Barzani, the region’s referendum will take place on the 25th of September of this year. “Our government has always been in resolute support of the territorial integrity of the republic of Iraq and regards it as its ‘red line’. But, recent years have seen a significant number of changes in foreign policy, particularly following the appointment of Javad Zarif as foreign minister to the country of Iraq. Even though Tehran signaled its support for the territorial integrity of Iraq, it has also indicated its support for the Kurdish government and the outcome of the referendum vote. Tehran will uphold its diplomatic ties with both Iraq and the Kurdish region irrespective of the outcome of the vote,” said Ardashir Pashang, a researcher at the Institute for Middle East Strategic studies (IMESS). Ardasha Pashang is also an expert in the Kurdish issue. Prashang also recalled that the president of Iran recently indicated that his country will support the outcome of the vote but that it is not in favor of a separation between Kurdistan and Iraq. “This is not to suggest that the Iranian government will not support the outcome of the referendum. Rather, it is to clearly indicate our position on the Kurd’s move. We sincerely believe that Iran should still be connected to Iraq,” said Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei, the Supreme leader of the republic of Iran.

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