TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami criticized the independence referendum held in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region as a move in line with the interests of Daesh (ISIS or ISIL) terrorist group.

Speaking at a meeting with Turkish Ambassador to Tehran Reza Hakan Tekin on Tuesday, Brigadier General Hatami cautioned against the security consequences of the referendum that was held by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on Monday.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is opposed to any measure that leads to a change in geographical borders and breakup of countries in the (Middle East) region,” the defense minister said.

He further expressed the hope that authorities in Kurdistan Region would get the message of Iran’s move to close its aerial borders to the region at the request of the central government in Iraq.

The Turkish diplomat, for his part, said the unilateral move by the Kurdistan Region would create instability in the region, adding that Ankara expects that Kurdish officials would resolve the issue through good will.

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

They warned that the vote could unleash ethnic violence, tear Iraq apart and fracture the forces combatting Daesh terrorists.

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