TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Iran’s former defense minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan said the unilateral move by authorities in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region to hold an independence referendum would place the Kurds in “a geopolitical predicament”.
Speaking in a televised program late on Tuesday, Brigadier General Dehqan said the issue of separation of Kurdistan Region from Iraq is not something new.
“However, such a measure would (on the one hand) place the Kurds in a geopolitical predicament, (and) sever their ties with the world…, and on the other hand, lead to creation of some kind of regional threat to all of its neighboring countries,” he said.
Dehqan, who is a top adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution in defense and logistics industries affairs, further said that President of Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Masoud Barzani is likely seeking to gain a series of concessions from the central government.
The Iraqi Kurdistan Region went ahead with its plan to hold the referendum on Monday while Iraq’s neighbors and countries in the Middle East, including Iran and Turkey, had voiced opposition to such a move and supported the Baghdad central government.
On Monday night, thousands of Kurdish people in favor of KRG’s secession from Iraq took to the streets in Erbil, with some waving Israeli flags to celebrate.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the only leader in the region to endorse the referendum, while all neighbors have warned that the secession plan would bring instability to the region and disintegrate Iraq.