TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Erbil adheres to Iraq’s constitution and remains committed to its territorial integrity, the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government’s envoy to Iran affirmed, saying the Baghdad government is also expected to uphold the rule of law.

Speaking to Press Shia, Nazem Dabbagh underlined that the controversy over last year’s referendum on the independence of Iraqi Kurdistan is now an issue of the past, reiterating that the KRG respects the Iraqi constitution and unity.

Erbil respects the Iraqi Supreme Court’s ruling that the referendum was unconstitutional, but at the same time expects Baghdad to obey the law as well, the Kurdish representative added.

He further hailed the positive results of KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani’s Sunday trip to Tehran and his meetings with top Iranian officials, saying both sides look to the future, not the past.

Heading a high-ranking delegation, the Kurdish premier met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, and Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani in Tehran.

His trip came after Erbil withdrew its secession plans and annulled the independence referendum results.

The referendum set off a chain of events, culminating in a military confrontation between Erbil and Baghdad.

The Iraqi government forces launched a major operation in Kirkuk on October 16 and took control of its oil fields and a strategic military base without any armed clashes.

Analysts believe that the decision to hold the referendum in the face of near-universal condemnation was a colossal miscalculation, saying the former president of the KRG, Masoud Barzani, undermined his legitimacy.