Iraqi Kurdistan’s Separation Unlikely to Happen: Analyst

A senior political analysts says the Iraqi Kurdistan region will not secede from the Arab country, and the main objective is to mend the autonomous region’s relations with Baghdad.

Iran’s former ambassador to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Sabah Zanganeh, in an interview with the Borna News Agency, has explained why the Iraqi Kurds are trying to gain independence from Iraq.

“Kurdistan region achieved security, peace and political and economic growth earlier than the other areas of Iraq. Hence, it has played a greater role in writing of the constitution and other cooperative laws, and with the support received from the western countries, they won an outstanding position in Iraq.”

Zanganeh said after the fall of Saddam Hussein and the formation of the Iraqi government, the Kurds have had an agreement with the leaders of the Iraqi parties. These agreements caused some problems in terms of oil exports, which would have to be done through the central government under the law and its revenue had to be paid to the state treasury. Accordingly, 10% of the Iraqi budget should have been given to Kurdistan region.

Zanganeh went on to say that after the Kurds negotiated with the central government of Iraq, Kurdistan’s share of Iraqi oil set to rise. Therefore, Kurdistan’s share of Iraq’s oil rose to 12 percent and then to 17 percent, which was the source of many questions and problems in other Iraqi provinces. The reason for this was to ignore the population proportion.

“When the oil price dropped, the central government did not have the ability to supply that 10 percent. Disappointments and protests grew when Kirkuk’s and Kurdistan’s oil were exported and its revenues were not deposited into the treasury.”

“On the other hand, with the arrival of ISIS in northern Iraq, Mosul and a part of Kirkuk province got into trouble and asked for help from the central government. The central government could not provide this help, and Iran offered the assistance and prevented the fall of Erbil. After this, Erbil gathered its troops and the Peshmerga forces entered parts of Mosul, Nineveh and Kirkuk, and considered those areas as captured ones, and this made the central government more sensitive.”

“Now, Erbil seeks to consider the status quo as a legal and natural situation that is not accepted by the central government and these two provinces,” he added.

Zanganeh, however, says “I think this separation will not happen, and the main goal is to mend the ties between Erbil and Baghdad. If the independence would happen, then we will be witness to unrest, and a series of disagreements and conflicts.”

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