TEHRAN (Press Shia) – As the Iraqi Kurdistan Region is gearing up for an independence referendum, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called on the United Nations to throw its weight behind Iraq’s territorial integrity, warning against the perils posed by changes in the political boundaries of the region.
In a meeting with Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres in New York on Monday, President Rouhani called on the UN to provide full support for Iraq’s territorial integrity and protect its Constitution.
He also warned against the “serious threats” of an independence referendum in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region and of any move to change the political boundaries of the regional countries.
President Rouhani then expressed Iran’s readiness for closer cooperation with the UN for settling the regional conflicts.
Hailing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) as a perfect model for regional and international peace and stability, Rouhani reminded the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the UN secretary-general of their responsibility to endorse and protect the nuclear deal in the face of the parties failing to honor their commitments.
Stressing the need for concerted action against terrorism, the Iranian president also called for “political solutions” to the regional conflicts, saying Iran, Russia and Turkey are pushing for progress in the Syria peace talks in Astana.
For his part, the UN chief hailed the JCPOA as a major step in strengthening peace, and asserted that Iran has honored its commitments to the nuclear deal with the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany).
Pointing to the critical situation in Syria and Yemen, Guterres voiced the UN’s willingness to work with Iran for the political settlement of the conflicts.
As regards the Iraqi Kurdistan Region’s plans to secede from Iraq, he said the UN strongly supports Iraq’s territorial integrity and Constitution.
Authorities in Iraq’s Kurdish region have announced that the northern territory will hold an independence referendum on September 25.
The referendum on whether to secede from Iraq 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.
Meanwhile, Iraq's Supreme Court on Monday ordered the suspension of the referendum to examine whether such a poll would be constitutional.