Parliament Condemns KRG Secession Vote

Parliament Condemns KRG Secession VoteParliament Condemns KRG Secession Vote

A majority of Iranian lawmakers issued a statement to denounce the Monday secession referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan as a threat to regional stability and the territorial integrity of the war-stricken Arab country.

"In view of the position of the Iraqi government and parliament, which called the Kurdistan region's referendum illegal, and the stance of the United Nations, we, parliamentarians … regard any separatist action as against the interests of the Iraqi nation and the whole region, and condemn the move in the Iraqi Kurdistan," said the Wednesday statement, signed by 210 lawmakers.

They vowed in the statement, carried by IRNA, to stand by Baghdad against the outcome of the independence referendum staged by Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq, a stance shared by neighboring Turkey.

The referendum was held in Erbil, Dohuk and Sulaymaniyah provinces, the contested province of Kirkuk, Tuz Khurmatu District in Saladin Province and Khanaqin District in Diyala Province.

The vote in the land-locked region has been denounced by all regional countries as well as Iraq's federal government.  

The Israeli regime is the only backer of the Kurdish independence.

  Need for Negotiations

Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani attended a closed session of the parliament, where he said the Islamic Republic will not recognize the results of the Kurdish vote, stressing the need to resolve the issue via negotiations.

"The Iraqi territorial integrity is of paramount importance to us and we hope the matter can be addressed through political dialogue," Shamkhani said, as cited by lawmaker Behrouz Nemati.

The controversial Kurdish poll, organized by Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government, was also sharply criticized by Ali Akbar Velayati, the top adviser to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution on Tuesday.

“The Iraqi people won’t stay silent. Iran and Turkey and other regional countries won’t stay silent and will stand against this repugnant deviation,” Velayati said.

Tehran announced a ban on direct flights to and from Iraqi Kurdistan on Sunday at the request of the central government in Baghdad and called for a land blockade of the autonomous region by all neighboring countries.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose country has a sizable Kurdish population and is facing a Kurdish insurgency, hinted on the possibility of a military intervention on Monday.

Erdogan, speaking at a conference in Ankara, pointed to Turkish military exercises underway along Turkey's border with the Iraqi Kurdish region and said that “our military is not (there) for nothing”.

  Iraqi Delegation Visiting Tehran

A top ranking delegation from Iraq’s armed forces headed to neighboring Iran on Wednesday “to coordinate military efforts”, according to a statement from the Iraqi military, Reuters reported.

The statement did not give any details about the objective of the visit.

The Iraqi Parliament on Wednesday called on Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to send troops to the Kurdish-controlled city of Kirkuk to seize control of its oilfields.

The oil-rich Kirkuk fell under the control of Kurdish forces in 2014, following the chaos that ensued when the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group captured large swathes of the country, including Mosul.

Abadi called for the results of the Kurdish referendum on independence to be annulled, as a condition for dialogue to resolve the escalating crisis.

In a speech to parliament, the prime minister renewed his ultimatum to the Kurdish region to hand over control of its international airports by Friday or face a ban on direct international flights.

The Kurdish region had earlier rejected the order from Baghdad to surrender control of its international airport to the central government, describing the demand as "illegal".


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