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Iran Parliament Reviews Kurdish Vote In Closed Session


Grab: Iraq -- Kurds celebrate after independence referendum, Irbil, Sep 25

Iranian Parliament has reviewed the referendum on independence in Iraq's Kurdish autonomous region in a closed session, Islamic Consultative Assembly News Agency (ICANA) reported on September 27.

Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, was reportedly the guest speaker. According to the report published by ICANA, Mr. Shamkhani briefed the legislators about "regional developments".

Speaker Ali Larijani, later confirmed the topic of the meeting was the Kurdish referendum.

The session was held as a follow-up to an array of disparaging remarks against the Kurdish referendum by Iranian officials.

Iranian Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani reportedly briefed Iranian MPs about the Kurdish vote
Iranian Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani reportedly briefed Iranian MPs about the Kurdish vote

ICANA’s report did not contain further details about the meeting between Mr. Shamkhani and the Parliament members.

Iran, along with neighboring Turkey, the United States and the UN have already voiced concerns about the consequences of the vote. They say any effort by the Kurds to found a new state could further escalate tensions in a region already besieged by years of armed conflict and war.

A few hours after the polling stations had opened in Iraq's Kurdish region, the local Islamic Republic Broadcasting (IRIB) channel, carried reports of street rallies in a few Kurdish-populated cities in Iran. Mahabad and Sanandaj are two key Kurdish-populated cities that have witnessed rallies.

Based on reports on social media by eyewitnesses, there were some clashes with security forces and demonstrators chanted slogans in solidarity with Iraqi Kurds.

Rally in Iran's Kurdish-populated city of Sanandaj celebrating Monday vote
Rally in Iran's Kurdish-populated city of Sanandaj celebrating Monday vote

The recent referendum in Iraq's Kurdistan region, took place in the three provinces that officially make up the Kurdish autonomous region -- Dahuk, Irbil, and Sulaimaniya -- and some neighboring areas. These areas include disputed cities such as oil-rich Kirkuk, Makhmour, Khanaqin, and Sinjar, over which Kurdish Peshmerga fighters have established control while fighting against Islamic State militants who captured large parts of Iraq in 2014.

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