TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - He said, “The decision made by by the Kirkuk Provincial Council to participating in the Kurdish region’s independence referendum, which was dismissed by the central Iraqi government, the United Nations and many regional and extra-regional countries, is a risky and provocative measure.”
He noted that Kirkuk’s backing of the referendum would damage negotiations in Baghdad which sought resolving differences between the two sides, and would weaken Iraq’s national power in consolidating the country’s victories against terrorism.
Qassemi continued that Iran cautions about this decision, which is clearly violating Iraq’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Iran calls on all sides to abide by their commitments to the [Iraqi] constitution and settle disagreements through talks and legal means.
He described as “intolerable” any move that would create "new crises in the region and along borders of Iraq’s neighbors."
The Kirkuk councilors voted to take part in the September 25 Kurdish independence referendum on Tuesday. Kirkuk is not part of the Kurdistan region but has a large Kurdish population.
The central government in Baghdad is strongly opposed to the vote.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has denounced the decision as “wrong,” saying the referendum on independence of the semi-autonomous region is "unconstitutional."
Apart from Iran, Turkey has also criticized the decision, saying it is a “serious breach” of the Iraqi constitution.
Iran rejects Emirati FM’s remarks as 'delusional'
Separately, Qassemi rejected the recent remarks made by the Emirati foreign minister about Iran’s role in the region as “false, unconstructive and delusional.”
He called on the United Arab Emirates to put an end to its “destructive” policies in the region.
“Unfortunately in recent years, Abu Dhabi has created many problems in the region by adopting adventurous policies beyond its capacity, including its participation in Yemen’s war and brutal bloodshed, efforts to occupy parts of Yemen’s territory, intervention in Libya, and provoking regional governments to lay siege to and impose sanctions on other countries,” the spokesman said.
The UAE “needs to end its destructive, inefficient and tension-provoking policies,” he added.
The UAE is one of the main allies of Saudi Arabia in its deadly war against the Yemeni nation.
Qassemi’s remarks came a day after the UAE foreign minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, accused Iran of pursuing “colonial ambitions” in the region.
Speaking at a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, the UAE foreign minister also accused Tehran of undermining Syrian sovereignty.
At the request of Damascus, Iran has been providing Syria with military advisory assistance in its fight against terrorist groups. Tehran says it will end the support if Syria calls for it.