Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani slammed the independence referendum recently held in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region, saying the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) adopted an “irresponsible and amateurish approach”.
Speaking at a meeting with Turkey’s Chief of the General Staff General Hulusi Akar in Tehran on Monday, Shamkhani said the KRG’s approach to hold the independence vote last Monday in the Kurdistan Region was “irresponsible and amateurish”.
“Paying no attention to the time and security requirements and pursuing tribal goals through this move will reduce the focus on the fight against Takfiri terrorism as the most important threat to the region and will rapidly spread the harmful security impacts on the Kurdish region of Iraq,” he said.
Shamkhani also stressed the need for coordinated efforts among Tehran, Baghdad and Ankara to manage developments and prevent the negative effect of the independence vote on the fight against terrorism in Iraq.
The Turkish top commander, for his part, stressed the need to support the central government in Iraq and preserve the integrity of the Arab country.
He said Iran, Iraq and Turkey will prevent the implementation of separatist plans in the region through joint efforts.
The Iraqi Kurdistan Region went ahead with its plan to hold the referendum last Monday while Iraq’s neighbors and countries in the Middle East, including Iran and Turkey, had voiced opposition to such a move and supported the Baghdad central government.
Thousands of Kurdish people in favor of KRG’s secession from Iraq took to the streets in Erbil that night, with some waving Israeli flags to celebrate.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the only leader in the region to endorse the referendum, while all neighbors have warned that the secession plan would bring instability to the region and disintegrate Iraq.