Iran to seal border if Kurdish region secedes from Iraq

Secession from Baghdad will likely upset region’s complex system of security alliances, Iran's security czar warns

Iran to seal border if Kurdish region secedes from Iraq

World Bulletin / News Desk

A leading Iranian security official on Sunday vowed to close the country’s border with Iraq’s Kurdish region in the event that the latter declares independence from Baghdad.

The IRNA news agency quoted Ali Shamkhani, head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, as saying that the Kurdish area’s secession from Iraq would disrupt security arrangements across the region, leaving Tehran no choice but to seal its border.

“Iran would have to seriously reconsider its regional policy and adopt novel strategies for guaranteeing security,” he said.

Shamkhani went on to assert that a number of “counter-revolutionary” elements -- i.e., groups opposed to the Iranian government -- were currently based in Iraq’s Kurdish region.

“Iran recognizes only one federal government in Iraq,” he stressed.

“As a friend and ally of our Kurdish brothers,” he added, “Iran does not believe the planned referendum will serve the interests of the Kurdish region and is therefore opposed to it.”

On Sept. 25, northern Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) will hold a popular referendum on whether or not to declare full independence from Iraq.

Baghdad, for its part, firmly rejects the planned poll, saying it will adversely affect the fight against Daesh, which still maintains a presence in northern Iraq despite a string of recent military defeats.

Turkey also opposes the planned referendum, insisting that the region’s stability depends on the maintenance of Iraq’s unity and territorial integrity.

Last week, Washington, too, reiterated an earlier request that the KRG defer the controversial poll to a later date.

Last Mod: 18 Eylül 2017, 00:09
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