Iran's Armed Forces chief of staff said Wednesday after talks with Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan that a referendum on independence in Iraq's Kurdistan Region would trigger conflict and negative consequences for the entire region, according to Yahoo News.
General Mohammad Hossein Bagheri's remarks, carried by Iran's official IRNA news agency, underlined the firm opposition shared in Tehran and Ankara to the poll next month.
"Both sides stressed that if the referendum would be held, it will be the basis for the start of a series of tensions and conflicts in Iraq, the consequences of which will affect neighboring countries," Bagheri was quoted as saying.
"Holding the referendum will get Iraq, but also Iran and Turkey involved and that's why the authorities of the two countries emphasize that it is not possible and should not be done."
Erdogan hosted Bagheri at his presidential palace in Ankara with Turkey's top general Hulusi Akar also in attendance, the presidency said.
Turkey and Iran have substantial Kurdish minorities and they vehemently oppose the plan by Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region to organize a vote on independence on September 25.
Analysts have little doubt that the referendum would result in a 'Yes' for an independent Kurdish state in northern Iraq. But the result would be nonbinding and leave the approximately five million Kurds of northern Iraq some way away from actual independence.