Once again reflecting general US support for the status quo in national boundaries, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson insisted the US would not recognize the results of Iraqi Kurdistan’s referendum from earlier this week.
Kurdistan voted to secede, with over 92% in favor, in a vote with massive turnout. Tillerson insisted that the vote “lacks legitimacy,” specifically complaining that it was conducted unilaterally without the permission of the central government, and adding that the US supports a heavily unified Iraq.
Yet the accuracy of the numbers aren’t in question, at least not in any relevant way. Iraqi Kurdistan has long been known to have an overwhelming majority supporting secession, and the vote just reflected that.
Rather, the US sees its deep investments in ties to Iraq potentially being wasted by Iraq losing its regional significance with Kurdish independence. Moreover, the Trump Administration has repeatedly gone on the record opposition secession movements in general, having also criticized the Catalonia vote coming next week.
Tillerson did, however, urge the whole nation to avoid the use of force. That’s something, at least, since Iraq, Iran, and Turkey all seem to be preparing war against Kurdistan to bring it back under Baghdad’s thumb.