Parliamentary Panel Censures Hypocritical American Policy on Iraqi Kurdistan

Hossein Naqavi HosseiniHossein Naqavi Hosseini

A lawmaker denounced the US policy regarding the upcoming referendum on the Iraqi Kurdistan's secession, stressing that what Washington says runs counter to what they do in reality.

In a recent talk with ICANA, Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, the spokesman of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, dismissed the US claim that it is against the secessionist referendum as "contradictory", saying that "by experience, we know that US officials say something, but in reality follow a different approach."

"Washington is declaring its opposition to the Kurdish referendum but, in reality, it supports the breakup of Iraq and the Middle East," he said.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has recently asked Iraq's Kurds to postpone the referendum on the independence of their autonomous region.

The US State Department had said in June it was concerned that the referendum would distract from "more urgent priorities" such as the defeat of self-styled Islamic State terrorist group. The call, however, was rejected by Kurdish officials.

The Kurdistan Region's political parties, not including Gorran Movement and the Kurdistan Islamic Group, came to an agreement on June 7 to hold a referendum on the region's independence on September 25. Analysts have little doubt that the September 25 referendum would result in a 'Yes' vote for an independent Kurdish state in northern Iraq.

But the result would be non-binding and leave the approximately five million Kurds of northern Iraq away from actual independence.

  Worrisome Consequences

Pointing to the tumultuous state of affairs in the Middle East, Hosseini said the violation of Iraq's territorial integrity and attempts to disintegrate the country will lead to the formation of dangerous threats in the region.

"The Kurdish regional referendum will be like a suicide bomber in the heart of Iraq and the Middle East," he said. Iran and Turkey, as the two main neighbors of the Iraqi Kurdistan, have strongly opposed the move. Baghdad has also advised against any "unilateral action".

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in June strongly criticized the referendum plan, calling it "an error" and "a threat" to Iraq's territorial integrity.

"The fundamental reason for our opposition to this referendum is the importance of preserving Iraq's territorial and political integrity," Erdogan's Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said in August.

Turkish Energy Minister Berat Albayrak had also said the referendum would harm energy cooperation with Iraqi Kurdistan Region, which pumps hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil a day to Turkey's Ceyhan export terminal.

"Iraqi Kurdistan lacks the factors necessary for an international status," Hosseini concluded.

In a new development on Sunday, Iraqi Kurds said they might consider the possibility of postponing the planned referendum on independence in return for financial and political concessions from the central government in Baghdad, Reuters reported.

According to Mala Bakhtiar, executive secretary of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan Politburo, said a Kurdish delegation was visiting Baghdad to sound out proposals from Iraqi leaders that might convince the Kurds to put off the vote.

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