TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Iran’s former defense minister described the Iraqi Kurdistan Region’s plan to hold an independence referendum as unwise, saying president of the Kurdish region Masoud Barzani appears to be seeking concessions from the Baghdad government with such a referendum.

“Nobody would tolerate an independent Kurdistan, and the Kurds would not pursue independence if they exercise wisdom,” Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan, an adviser to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, said on Saturday.

Reminding the Kurdish officials that their region is landlocked, the Iranian general said the neighbors would never agree with such an independence plan.

Barzani is trying to gain concessions from Iraq’s central government, Dehqan added.

As Iraq’s Kurds are rushing headlong into a vote for independence on Monday, all neighbors and countries in the Middle East, including Iran and Turkey, are trying to persuade the Erbil government to cancel the referendum.

They warn that the vote could unleash ethnic violence, tear Iraq apart and fracture the forces combatting Daesh (ISIL) terrorists.

The UN Security Council has also warned of the potentially destabilizing impact of the planned referendum.