The Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces in Iran’s Kurdistan and its recruiting forces, known as the Basij, have received orders to launch a recruitment campaign in preparation for a possible war against the Kurdistan Region of northern Iraq in the event of its independence.
In June, the Iranian government condemned the Kurdish move towards independence in northern Iraq, urging all parties to “respect the Iraqi constitution and maintain unity.”
“This unilateral move by Erbil (capital of Iraqi Kurdistan) is unacceptable,” the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Bahram Qasimi said.
“The Kurdistan region is a part of Iraq, and it cannot be separated from the country,” Qasimi stressed, calling Kurdistan’s independence referendum “an irresponsible move”.
The President of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Masoud Barzani, announced September 25 as a referendum day on Kurdish independence.
Both Iran and Turkey have opposed an independence referendum, however, the Iraqi Kurds say that the regional countries should not interfere in the region’s affairs.
“When we talk about a referendum, we talk about Kurdistan in Iraq only,” KRG’s foreign relations chief Falah Mustafa Bakir said, in a message to the neighbouring countries that have their own Kurdish populations, and fear Kurdish independence will inspire their own Kurds to seek more independence.
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