On Monday, Iran’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) intends to hold a referendum on possible secession from Iraq and the establishment of an independent Kurdistan. The US State Department today issued a statement warning the Kurds that the US “strongly opposes” the vote.
The US has long rejected the idea of an independent Kurdistan, and Iraq’s parliament has similarly forbidden the vote, though the KRG has indicated the vote will go on. The State Department urged the Kurds to negotiate with Iraq instead of having a vote.
Kurdish independence is broadly opposed across the world, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a rare advocate of secession. This fact has led neighboring Turkey to present the referendum as an Israeli plot, claiming Netanyahu has a deal in place to ship 200,000 Jews into an independent Kurdistan.
The KRG has been clear they intended such a vote as soon as the ISIS War was over from the beginning. There are potential obstacles, however, including the KRG having annexed significant additional parts of Iraq in the ISIS conflict, and seemingly intending to take those with them as well.