Iran against raising of Kurdistan Region flag in Kirkuk

Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Monday said that the hoisting of any flag outside Iraq’s national flag in Kirkuk was contrary to the country’s constitution and would raise tensions.

Following Turkish officials’ comments on the raising of the Kurdistan Region flag in the majority Kurdish city in northern Iraq, Iran has also weighed in on the crisis.

‘Iran’s principled stance is to support the country’s territorial integrity and national sovereignty,’ Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said.

He added that all sides should resolve disputes through dialogue and legal means and concentrate energy on fighting the Islamic State (IS), Iran’s government news agency IRNA reported.

The statements echo those recently made by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

Kurdish parties have said the flag will continue flying in Kirkuk, a city largely administered by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). The move has been viewed as trying to strengthen the KRG’s bid for complete secession from Baghdad.

A commission has been formed in the Iraqi parliament to investigate and resolve the issue.