TEHRAN (Press Shia) – A former Iraqi lawmaker cast doubts over the viability of a unilateral plan by the Arab country’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region to hold an independence referendum and said the issue does not have to do with the Kurdish region only but can affect other regional countries as well.
“Holding the (independence) referendum is not just about the Kurdistan Region,” Seyed Mahmoud al-Miali said in an interview with the Press Shia News Agency.
“It is an issue that various countries and currents can play a role in,” the former parliamentarian added.
“The inhabitants of this region are Kurds, but a referendum on independence is an issue that affects countries such as Iran, Turkey, Syria and Iraq because Kurds constitute part of their populations,” he said.
Therefore, Miali added, this referendum will not be feasible because it would require extensive efforts and the agreement of other countries in the region and the world.
Officials in Iraq’s Kurdish Region have said the northern territory would hold an independence referendum on September 25.
Masoud Barzani, the president of the Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), announced the vote on Twitter on June 7.
It 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.
Iran has voiced opposition to the plan, reiterating its policy of supporting Iraq’s territorial integrity.
In June, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran’s principled and clear stance is supporting Iraq’s territorial integrity and coherence.”
“The Kurdistan Region is part of the Republic of Iraq,” he underlined.