World Bulletin / News Desk
Iran voiced its opposition on Saturday to an announcement by Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region that it will organise a vote on independence later this year.
"The Kurdistan region is part of the Iraqi republic and unilateral decisions outside the national and legal framework, especially the Iraqi constitution... can only lead to new problems."
Iraqi Kurdish leaders announced on Wednesday that they will organise an independence referendum on September 25, not only in their three-province autonomous region but also in other historically Kurdish-majority areas they have long sought to incorporate in it.
Iran worries about separatism among its own Kurds, most of whom live in areas along the border with Iraq.
Rebels of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) and the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) launch sporadic attacks into Iran from rear-bases in Iraq, triggering sometimes deadly clashes with the security forces.
After an upsurge attacks in 2011, Iranian troops launched a cross-border incursion, forcing KDPI to retreat deeper into Iraq.
The federal government in Baghdad is deeply opposed to the referendum plan of the regional government in Arbil, as is neighbouring Turkey, which has a large and restive Kurdish minority of its own.
Washington has expressed concern that it could distract from the joint fight against the ISIL group by stoking tensions between the Kurds, and Arabs and Turkmen in northern Iraq.
"An integrated, stable and democratic Iraq guarantees the interests of the whole people (of Iraq) from all ethnic and religious groups," Ghasemi said.
"Today, Iraq more than ever needs peace and national unity and differences between Arbil and Baghdad must be resolved within the framework of dialogue and in compliance with Iraq's constitution."
After a low-key campaign, opinion polls put the conservative in the lead as he claims credit for the island's economic recovery since its debilitating financial crisis of 2013.
‘US does not provide any support to PKK, a US-designated foreign terrorist organization,’ says Pentagon spokesman
Turkish Cypriots stand with motherland Turkey and Turkish soldiers at heart, PM Ozgurgun tweets.
The campaign named 'Dignity is Priceless' aims to attract new donors for Palestinian refugees
Last week, Israeli authorities refused a request to release Attallah from prison
The move came as Israel extended detention of 16-year-old girl Ahed al-Tamimi
‘We do not have people operating in Afrin, so that does not have a direct effect on what we are doing’, spokesman says
Arguments in case expected in April, final ruling expected by June
Sergey Lavrov, Ayman Safadi meet in New York, according to Russian Foreign Ministry statement
Police confirm detention of Turks without providing reason for move
Congress fails to reach agreement on short-term stopgap funding
Xi's eponymous "thought" was already enshrined in the Communist Party constitution at the 19th Party Congress in October, elevating him to the same status as modern China's founder Mao Zedong.
Separate roadside bombings in both provinces left three civilians dead, say security sources
Mexico rejects claim, calling it 'manifestly false'
Supporters not deterred by president’s antics, performance