TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Tehran's Provisional Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami warned against the consequences of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region’s plan to hold an independence referendum later this month, saying the vote is part of a plot to create another Israel in the Middle East.

“The independence referendum in the Kurdistan Region is an age-old dream cherished by the global arrogance (the US) to create another Israel in the region,” Ayatollah Khatami said, addressing a huge gathering of worshipers in Tehran on Friday.

However, they (the US and Israel) will never see their dreams come true, the cleric added.

The Zionist regime’s officials have openly supported the referendum, he said, adding that however, governments in Iran, Iraq, and Turkey have expressed their strong opposition to the referendum.

He further expressed the hope that the authorities in Kurdistan Region would come to their senses and give up the Israeli plot.  

Officials in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region have said the northern territory would hold the independence referendum on September 25.

Masoud Barzani, the president of the Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), announced the vote on June 7.

Earlier this month, Iraqi parliamentarians have rejected the legitimacy of the vote and the central government in Baghdad which is strongly opposed to this move has said it will do everything possible to keep the unity of the country intact.

Iraq’s neighbors, including Iran and Turkey, are also strongly opposed to such a move.