ERBIL (Press Shia Agency) – The former president of Iraq and leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Jalal Talabani, plans to pay a visit to Iran next week, according to the party’s official website.


According to Press Shia Agency dispatches, Talabani is slated to depart from Sulaymaniyah, a city in Iraqi Kurdistan, for the Iranian capital of Tehran next week, the PUK said in a statement on Saturday.

He plans to stay in Iran for a few days and hold talks with senior officials of the country on issues of mutual interest.

The visit would take place at the invitation of high-ranking Iranian officials, according to the statement.  

The trip would come against the backdrop of a recent announcement by the Iraqi Kurdistan that it would vote on whether to split from the rest of Iraq and form an independent region.

Iran has repeatedly stressed that it is utterly opposed to any moves to split neighboring Iraq.