Iran Concerned Over Security After Referendum

IRBIL, Iraq (AP) — Iran’s semi-official ISNA news agency reports that the country’s defense minister has expressed concerns over the security implications of a referendum in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

The report quotes Gen. Amir Hatami as saying: “Iran is opposed to any action that leads to a change” in the geographical divisions of the countries in the region.

Iran is among many countries that opposed an independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan.

In June, the country’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that advocates of Kurdish independence are “opponents of the independence and identity” of Iraq.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry is also expressing concern over the possible “negative” consequence of the referendum in Iraq’s Kurdish area.

Tuesday’s statement by the ministry says “Egypt urges all parties not to take any unilateral measures that could further complicate the situation.”

The statement called for “constructive dialogue to achieve comprehensive settlement over issues of conflict between Irbil and Baghdad.”

Egypt is just the latest country to issue a statement in opposition to the referendum held by Iraq’s Kurds on support for independence Monday. Iran, Turkey, the United States and the United Nations all condemned the vote citing fears of regional instability.

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