Iran: United Iraq benefits all Iraqis

June 10, 2017 - 19:44

TEHRAN - Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Saturday that the “integrated”, “stable” and “democratic” Iraq will serve the interests of the Iraqi people all.

Qassemi’s comments came in response to the Iraqi Kurdistan Region’s decision on Wednesday to hold an independence referendum in September on breaking away from the mainland.

Qassemi said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran’s clear status is to support Iraq’s territorial integrity and unity.”

The Kurdistan region is part of Iraqin soil and unilateral decisions which are not on the basis of the Iraqi constitution will just complicate the crisis in the country, he said.

“Today, Iraq needs peace and national unity more than ever and differences between Erbil and Baghdad should be bridged through dialogue, and national agreement on the basis of Iraq’s constitution,” Qassemi stated.

According to Middle East Eye, the decision to hold the referendum was taken on Wednesday, during a meeting between President of Iraqi Kurdistan Massoud Barzani and other political leaders.

“I am pleased to announce that the date for the independence referendum has been set for Monday, Sept. 25, 2017,” Barzani tweeted.

The Iraqi government issued a statement on Friday rejecting any unilateral move by Kurdish regional authorities to press for independence.

“No party can, on its own, decide the fate of Iraq, in isolation from the other parties,” Aljazeera quoted Saad al-Haddithi, the Iraqi government spokesman, as saying in a statement.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has also denounced the Iraqi Kurdistan’s decision.

“We have enough problems in our region. We believe it is not correct to create a new area of conflict,” Middle East Eye quoted Yildirim as telling reporters.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry also called the decision a “grave mistake”.

“The maintenance of Iraq’s territorial integrity and political unity is one of the fundamental principles of Turkey’s Iraq policy,” it added.