Speaking at his weekly press conference on Monday, Qasemi dismissed rumors published on some Western media claiming Iranian artillery had shelled Iraqi Kurdistan region, saying the rumors were an attempt to cause media mayhem ahead of the KRG referendum, following particular objectives and intending to involve Iran in matters that have no factual basis, MNA reported.
“Iran’s policy toward the referendum has been repeatedly proclaimed and our stance has been clear from the start,” Qasemi said, adding, “We persist on and pursue territorial integrity, national sovereignty, and the democratic process of developments in Iraq.”
He went on stress, “Iran deems wrong and inappropriate any measure that could undermine stability, security and territorial integrity of Iraq.”
Qasemi also maintained that Iran has closed its airspace to KRG upon the request of Iraq’s central government.
Asked whether Erbil has summoned Iranian consul general, Qasemi said he does not confirm the rumor.
Qasemi further declined making comment about the possibility of reducing the level of diplomatic and economic ties with Kurdistan region, saying he would rather discuss the matter at a later time.
The KRG is holding a referendum on independence on Monday despite international calls to drop the bid and negotiate a deal that does not threaten Iraq’s territorial integrity.
In a trilateral meeting between foreign ministers of Iran, Iraq, and Turkey on September 20, the sides voiced their concern that the planned referendum by the KRG puts Iraq’s hard-earned gains against Daesh under great risk. They also registered their unequivocal opposition to the referendum, urging the leadership of the KRG to refrain from holding the referendum which could provoke new conflicts in the region.