Baghdad, Ankara and Tehran have dismissed the results of a secession referendum by the Iraqi Kurdistan region. Press TV has interviewed Adam Garrie, managing editor of theduran.com from London, and Joe Lauria, an author and independent journalist from Cairo, on the situation in Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
Since the referendum may have security threats for neighboring states of the Arab country, Turkey, Syria and Iran have the right to be concerned and oppose the vote, Garrie said.
“The neighboring states to Iraq do have very legitimate security concerns. There’s a grave danger that in spite of the political differences between the Kurds for example in Syria and Iraq and also Iran, there could be a domino effect,” the analyst said on Thursday night.
The analyst said the referendum was “a move to try to tempt other Kurds in other countries to build something greater, but indeed what they are going to have is something lesser.”
Garrie pointed to the menace of Kurdish provocations in the region, adding that “no country wants to have an insurgency … within its borders and the current crisis in Iraq could ignite just that.”
“The PKK in Turkey, a group that the world condemns as a terrorist organization, may ratchet up attempts to secede from the Turkish government and kill as many Turks in the process and then there is [PJAK] of course in Iran, which is a well-known and very radical terrorist organization,” he said.
On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Massoud Barzani, the president of Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government, that the current push for the independence of the KRG could spark an “ethnic war” in northern Iraq.
Garrie also referred to the United States’ role in promoting the Kurds to secede when Baghdad and Damascus are still fighting Daesh terrorists.
“It (the KRG secession bid) could encourage separatism in Syria, which is already on the tip of everybody’s lips, because America has lost its war in Syria, they may well turn to Kurdish secessionism as the only viable option for them to sink their teeth into Syria,” he argued.
Lauria, the other guest on the show, said the Kurds knew they would become under severe pressure from Iraq and other states, but they went through with the referendum because “they’ve had a very tough long suffering history.”
However, the analyst noted that the KRG held the referendum beyond the realm of pragmatism, because the Kurds knew that “if the oil is really cut off and if Erdogan really follows through on this threat, the economy will collapse in quick order.”