News ID: 4100319 -

Iran to remain Iraqi Kurdistan's friend despite referendum 'mistake'

TEHRAN, Sep. 27 (MNA) – Questioning the real goal of the US in Syria and the region, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Iran will remain an eternal friend of Iraqi Kurdistan despite their recent referendum mistake.

Iran is the only country with a large proportion of Kurdish population which manages to cultivate decent relations with them. With Iraqi Kurds Tehran has a long-standing relationship which has deepened after 2014 when Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps started to back Kurdish Peshmerga's efforts to counter Daesh.

Iran will remain an eternal friend of Kurds despite their recent vote to split from Iraq, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in New York on Wednesday.

"We believe that was a very serious mistake, and we believe that as people who are friends of the Kurds – we will remain eternal friends of the Kurds – we believe that was a major strategic mistake," he said in an interview with the Asia Society, a nonprofit based in New York.

Zarif predicted the Monday referendum would have consequences that would not be limited to Iraqi Kurdistan.

Iran and Turkey criticized the referendum. The United Nations and the United States also decried the Iraqi Kurdish authorities for potentially destabilizing the region. Baghdad has called the vote illegal and has refused to engage in a dialogue with Kurdish leaders.

Questioning the real goal of the US in Syria, Zarif also said, "Today it seems to me that priorities have changed and for the government of the US it is more important to prevent the Syrian government from taking over the border with Iraq than it is to defeat ISIS."

While the US claims that it is fighting against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, Iran has repeatedly disclosed the US of supporting militant groups in Syria, including ISIS and al-Nusra Front.

 On Sep. 24,  the Russian Defense Ministry also released aerial footage of the ISIL positions north of Syria's city of Deir ez-Zor that showed the US equipment deployed in the area.