Turkey and Iran escalated on Thursday their attacks against the Kurdistan Region’s upcoming referendum on independence, scheduled for Sept. 25.
While Ankara alluded that a similar step could lead to a civil war in Iraq and would shaken regional stability, Tehran spoke on Thursday about a US conspiracy, saying that the Kurdish actions “is in line with the US policy of partitioning the regional countries.”
Deputy Chief of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri said on Thursday that Iran is definitely opposed to the referendum.
However, Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani reiterated his attachment to hold the referendum on time, vowing to continue talks with Baghdad.
This month, Iran’s Armed Forces chief of staff General Mohammad Hossein Bagheri visited Ankara after which Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan uncovered the presence of a possible Turkish-Iranian agreement to launch a joint military operation against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its Iranian branch the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK).
Meanwhile, Mohammed Mehdi Aker, the deputy chief of the ruling Turkish Justice and Development Party (AKP) said that a decision by the Iraqi Kurdistan Region to hold an independence referendum will not solve regional problems but on the contrary, would deepen the size of crises and problems from which Iraqis currently suffer.
In an interview with Tehran Times, Aker said: “We urge both the central government and IKBY leadership to resolve the problems between Baghdad and Arbil within the framework of the Iraqi Constitution in order to ensure that no more difficult problems arise in Iraq.”
Even nationalist Turkish movements expressed their rejection of the Kurdish referendum.
During a press conference held on Thursday, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli called on Ankara to oppose the vote.
He said: “This is a rehearsal for Kurdistan. If necessary Turkey should deem this referendum as a reason for war."
Bahceli also said that a position must be taken against Barzani's preparation for an independence referendum, which incorporates Turkmen cities.