State Dept: US ‘Strongly Opposes’ Kurdish Independence Vote

Urges Kurds to Negotiate With Iraqi Govt Instead

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.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.