Photo Credit: Mohammad Hassanzadeh via Wikimedia
Ali Akbar Velayati

Ali Akbar Velayati, a top advisor to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, on Tuesday told Tehran Times that the US and the “Zionist regime of Israel” were behind Kurdish President Masoud Barzani’s decision to hold a referendum on declaring independence for his country—a region of the State of Iraq.

Velayati warned that Kurdish independence would introduce “political chaos” in the Middle East, and predicted that “the Kurds will definitely topple Barzani before the Iraqi government would do so.”

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The vast majority of Iraqi Kurds voted in favor of independence. After counting 3,440,616 legitimate votes, 91.83% answered Yes to the question, “Do you want the Kurdistan Region and the Kurdistani areas outside the administration of the Region to become an independent state?” Only 8.17% said No.

Velayati called the referendum’s results “insubstantial” and with no “positive result,” mostly because “Iran will not accept the partition of Iraq.”

Thanks to President GW Bush’s toppling of Sunni Sadam Huseein’s government in 2003, a Shiite government with strong ties with Shiite Iran has taken over the country.

Spaeker of the Majlis parliament Ali Larijani also said that Iran “will not accept” the partition of Iraq and said Tehran will stand beside the Iraqi central government.

He also said that disintegration of regional countries is an “Israeli policy” and would not meet the interests of any ethnic group.

Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami also said Iran is against any move to disintegrate regional countries and change their geographical borders. During a meeting with Turkish Ambassador to Tehran Riza Hakan Tekin, Hatami said it is Iran’s principled policy to respect national sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries.

Mohammadi Golpayegani, the chief of staff of the Supreme Leader’s office, also said that the independence referendum in the Iraqi Kurdistan is a “Zionist plot” intended to foment new crisis after the end of the ISIS era in Iraq.

“You may be assured that it is a plot by the Zionist regime now that ISIS is collapsing,” Mohammadi stated. “Now they have raised a new issue in the region.” He warned that “referendum and its related issues will cause many problems for the Kurds and the neighboring countries.”

Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri blamed the “Zionist regime” for orchestrating the independence referendum in the Iraqi Kurdistan. “The Zionist regime of Israel and the global arrogance are behind the referendum,” he said.

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