DAMASCUS, SYRIA (8:20 PM) – Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran (SNSC) has on Sunday further clarified the Islamic Republic of Iran’s stance on the planned upcoming secession referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan.
While addressing the press, Shamkhani stated that Iran would only accept a unified, integrated and federal Republic of Iraq at its borders, and would not recognize in any way a seceded Kurdish state. The SNSC secretary continued to say that he believed any breakup of Iraq would leave the region severely weakened, and would further complicate any possible solution for the future.
According to Shamkhani, the principle of territorial integrity of Iraq is non-negotiable. “Any damage to this strategic principle would lead to the revision of and serious alteration in the existing cooperation between Iran and Iraq’s Kurdistan region,” the Secretary stated. He warned that any such breach of Iraq’s territorial integrity would be met with the closing of Iran’s border crossings with the Kurdish areas, as well as a termination of military and security agreements between Iran and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG).
The legality of the Kurdish plebiscite on the possibility of independence, which is planned for September 25, has already been rejected by the Council of Representatives of Iraq, and has been met with negative reactions from both Iran and Turkey, as well as the United Nations. Despite calls to cancel the planned referendum, Kurdish lawmakers decided on Friday to carry on as planned. Ali Shamkhani’s statement comes in a row of official warnings regarding possible Kurdish secession. Earlier today, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi stated that the Kurdish authorities were “playing with fire”.