Photo Credit: US State Department
Masoud Barzani at the Kurdistan Regional Government Presidential Compound in Erbil, Iraq, on June 24, 2014.

The leader of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Masoud Barzani told international reporters late Tuesday night that the referendum on independence from Iraq yielded a “yes” vote of nearly 92 percent.

More than three million eligible voters from the three provinces that comprise the KRG voted in the referendum, as did millions of other Kurds from disputed areas around Iraq, including the oil-rich city of Kirkurk.


The Baghdad government fought hard against the referendum — which was non-binding — as did neighboring Turkey and Iran, all of whom declared the vote invalid.

But Barzani warned that the time for discussion of that issue was past, and urged Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi to instead move ahead with talks on how to peacefully implement the process.

“I call on Mr. Haider al-Abadi and the others (Iraqi officials) not to close the door to dialogue because it is dialogue that will solve problems,” Barzani said in a televised address. “We assure the international community of our willingness to engage in dialogue with Baghdad.”

In response, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to halt the process of normalization with Israel if it does not withdraw its support for Kurdistan.

“If Israel does not reconsider its support for Kurdish independence, Turkey will not be able to take many steps we would have with Israel, too,” Erdogan said Tuesday, according to Turkey’s Daily Sabah.

Israel was the only nation in the entire world that supported the Kurdistan Regional Government’s decision to conduct the referendum.

Both Turkey and Iran also have provinces with significant Kurdish populations, and they fear unrest, or possibly even parallel moves towards secession, in the wake of the KRG referendum.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.


  1. =
    Kurds no want Iran-proxy Shia Baghdad regime to rule them &
    rob Kurds oil revenues.
    Same as the Kurds referendum, so many Europeans referendums too,
    the Basques-Catalan & Venice Italy too, for example, No want
    terror Ham-Ass & BDS supporters EU-Brussels bureaucrats dictators
    to rob their taxes & give them for example to Jihad by migration Hitler’ Mufti followers .

    The Muslimized Tyrants UN world including
    Europe , US Dep’t of States, Turkey, Syria, Irak, Iran
    want 40 millions Kurds to shed their blood & fight Sunni Isis
    & want them to remain slaves who are robed of kurds oil revenues,
    language & culture by Iran-proxy Shia Baghdad regime who is
    saturated in political dissension, division, economic & security challenges
    that Muslimized Tyrants UN world want them to remain robed slaves
    by terror Muslim Brotherhood Tyrant Allah Erdogan &
    by terror baathist group Tyrant Allah Assad-Syria

    as these countries also have provinces with significant Kurdish populations.

    Kerry talks Iraqi crisis with Kurdish leaders – UPI com . Jun 24, 2014

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