Iran says Iraqi Kurdish vote 'untimely,' 'wrong'

Iran has described the Iraqi Kurdish referendum on support for independence from Baghdad as "untimely and wrong" and reiterated its support for Iraq's territorial integrity.


Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi told reporters on Monday that the vote could "lead to developments and happenings that could affect all people of the region and especially Kurdish people."


Ghasemi reiterated that Iran supports the "territorial integrity and democratic process" in Iraq.


Since Sunday, Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard has been having a military exercise in its northwestern Kurdish region bordering Iraq in a sign of Tehran's concerns over the Iraqi Kurdish vote.


Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency reported that on Sunday that the Supreme National Security Council closed Iranian airspace to the Iraqi Kurdish area at the request of the central government in Baghdad.


Iran and Iraq have been close allies since the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq toppled dictator Saddam Hussein. Both are opposed to Kurdish independence.


In June, the country's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, that Iraq "should remain integrated" and that advocates of Kurdish independence are "opponents of the independence and identity" of Iraq.


פרסום ראשון: 09.25.17, 13:33