Iranian Official Warns of Dire Consequences of Iraqi Kurdish Referendum

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Secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council Mohsen Rezaei warned against far-reaching consequences of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region’s plan to hold an independence referendum, saying disintegration of Iraq would have a spillover effect on neighboring countries, including Syria and Turkey.

Speaking at a press conference in Baghdad on Monday, Rezaei voiced Iran’s strong opposition to any move for splitting Iraq, expressing the hope that the Kurdistan Region would reverse its decision on holding the referendum.

“Disintegration of Iraq would mark the beginning of widespread insecurity not only in Iraq, but in the entire region… We oppose such a referendum and call on the Kurdish leaders to halt that plan,” he added.

Rezaei then slammed attempts at disintegration of Iraq as part of a broader plot to partition Muslim countries in the region, warning that the threat of disintegration could engulf Turkey and Syria as well.

He finally described the independence referendum as a “dangerous game” that has been proposed by certain leaders of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region with “personal motives.”

Authorities in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region have announced that the northern territory will hold the independence referendum on September 25.

The referendum on whether to secede from Iraq is planned to be held in the three governorates that make up the Kurdish region and in the areas that are disputed by the Kurdish and Iraqi governments but are currently under Kurdish military control.

The disputed areas include the key oil-rich province of Kirkuk.

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