Barzani’s independence bid strengthens Daesh, Israel: Iran official

Iranian Parliament speaker's special adviser on international affairs, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian
Iranian Parliament speaker’s special adviser on international affairs, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian

A senior Iranian official says the recent move by President of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region Massoud Barzani for independence is tantamount to boosting the Daesh terrorist group and the Israeli regime.

“Barzani’s independence bid means strengthening Daesh and Tel Aviv, new regional anarchy and instability,” Iranian Parliament speaker’s special adviser on international affairs, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, said in a post on his Twitter account on Saturday.

He stressed that the Kurdish people in Iraq could not enjoy genuine support unless the Arab country’s national unity was fully supported.

“Strong support for Iraq’s national unity is the real support for the Iraqi Kurds,” said Amir-Abdollahian, who formerly served as Iran’s deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs.

In defiance of Iraq’s stiff opposition, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) held a non-binding referendum on September 25 on secession from the central government in Baghdad.

The photo shows President of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region Massoud Barzani before he casts his vote during Kurds’ independence referendum in Erbil, Iraq, on September 25, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

Official results showed 92.73 percent of voters backed the secession. Turnout was put at 72.61 percent.

While much of the international community, including the United Nations, the European Union and Iraq’s neighbors, has opposed the referendum, Israel has been the only entity to openly support an independent Kurdish state, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu backing “the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to attain a state” of their own.

Regional players Iran and Turkey have opposed the Kurdish referendum in Iraq, warning that the controversial vote could lead to further instability in the entire Middle East, a region already ravaged with numerous conflicts and terror threats.

During a televised speech in the eastern Turkish city of Erzurum on Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Israel’s Mossad spy agency had played a role in the Kurdish independence referendum.

Erdogan expressed sorrow that Iraqi Kurds had acclaimed the recent independence referendum with Israeli flags.

Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on international affairs, said on September 26 that the KRG president was a middleman for Zionists, who seeks to implement their plans for the division of Muslim states.

“Barzani is a middleman for Zionists [whose goal is] to disintegrate Islamic countries,” Velayati said, adding that in view of the bitter experience of Palestine, Muslim nations will not allow “a second Israel” to be created in the region.