Hoisting Non-Iraqi Flags in Kirkuk Can Cause Tension: Iran

Kurdistan-Iraq

Raising any flags other than that of Iraq in the northern Iraqi province of Kirkuk is against the Arab country’s Constitution and can create tensions, Iran’s foreign ministry says.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said Tehran maintains that raising any flags other than, or next to, that of Iraq in the northern Iraqi province of Kirkuk is a tension-creating move which is against the country’s Constitution.

According to a Farsi report by ISNA, commenting on the recent developments in Kirkuk Province, Qassemi added Iran’s main policy and stance towards Iraq is to defend the country’s territorial integrity and central government.

He said Iran stresses that all sides and parties in the country are required to remain committed to Iraq’s Constitution and resolve their disputes, conflicts and differences by holding dialogue and adopting legal solutions and approaches.

Therefore, he added, flying any flags other than, or besides, that of Iraq in Kirkuk, which as per the country’s Constitution is under the sovereignty of the Iraqi federal government, is a tension-generating move and a violation of the Constitution.

Qassemi added fighting terrorism and cleaning up the remaining zones from the Takfiri and ISIS terrorists are the most important issues facing the Iraqi government and people.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will also continue to support the Iraqi government in these regards. Recent moves and measures by some Iraqi sides and parties in Kirkuk are worrying as they can divert the attention and resources of the Iraqi government and nation away from the battle against terrorism.”

The Iraqi parliament voted on Saturday to ban the hoisting of flags of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region over government buildings in Kirkuk.

The lawmakers passed the bill days after the Kirkuk Provincial Council decided to raise the regional flag next to the Iraqi national flag in front of some buildings.

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