Zarif: It is ‘essential’ Iraqi Kurdistan negotiate with central govt.

October 2, 2017 - 19:58

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that it is “essential” for the Kurdistan region to enter dialogue with the central government in Baghdad.

Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region held independence referendum on September 25. Kurdistan’s President Masoud Barzani turned a cold shoulder to international calls against the referendum.

In an interview with IRNA published on Monday, Zarif called the independence referendum unconstitutional. 

He noted that the referendum can be a threat against security in Iraq.

“This move will endanger security in Iraq and the [Middle East] region. We expect that the talks start respecting Iraq’s constitution especially the first principle of it which stresses protecting Iraq’s national unity and territorial integrity as an unchangeable principle,” the chief diplomat noted.

On September 26, a number of top ranking Iranian political and military figures voiced strong opposition to the independence referendum in the Iraqi Kurdistan region, calling it an Israeli plot and warned about its consequences.

Ali Akbar Velayati, a top advisor to the Supreme Leader, said “political chaos” in the Middle East would be one of the consequences of the referendum.

Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani said that Iran “will not accept” the partition of regional countries including Iraq and said Tehran will stand beside the Iraqi central government.

Defense Minister Amir Hatami also said Iran is against any move to disintegrate regional countries and change their geographical borders.


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