On September 30, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said during a public speech on Ashura religious occasion that the Iraqi Kurdistan Region independence referendum (was held on September 25) is a great threat not only to Iraq and its neighboring countries, but to the entire region.
“This subject [the Kurdistan Region independence referendum] is not a threat to Iraq only. This is a threat to the whole region Iran, Turkey and Syria and the whole region not only Iraq, and these four countries, because it will open the door for partition,” Nasrallah said in his speech.
Nasrallah stressed that the referendum is the first step to divide the Middle East. Nasrallah also said that the project to divide the Middle East started after the fail of ISIS project that was serving to the US and Israel. Nasrallah asked people to be aware of the fact that the only country in the world that supported the Kurdistan Region independence referendum is Israel.
“We say to our beloved Kurds that the issue is not about deciding your fate, but about dividing the region according to sectarian and ethnic belonging… After the failure of the ISIS project, it’s now back to the project of dividing up the region, first from the area of Kurdish Iraq,” Nasrallah said.
Nasrallah statement against the independence referendum was expected. Hezbollah is a main ally of Syria and Iran.
So far the only country that has supported the Kurdistan Region independence is Israel. The Kurdish-dominated and US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have also supported the move.
Meanwhile, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi hinted on September 30 that the Iraqi Federal government will directly collect the revenue generated from Kurdish oil exports from Turkey.
Abadi also said that this step is to protect the revenue from the corruption in the Kurdistan Region Government (KRG).
“Federal government control of oil revenues is in order to pay KR employee salaries in full and so that money will not go to the corrupt.”
Federal government control of oil revenues is in order to pay KR employee salaries in full and so that money will not go to the corrupt
— Haider Al-Abadi (@HaiderAlAbadi) 30 September 2017
Such step by Turkey and the Iraqi Federal Government will for sure have a significant impact on the KRG. The KRG will likely be forced to work with the Iraqi Federal Government or to isolate itself.