A top Iraqi Kurdistan official has said that the Kurdistan region would hold an independence referendum despite political pressure.
Hendrin Mohammed, head of the Independent Electoral Commission for Elections and Referendum in Kurdistan, was quoted by Sputnik news as saying on Wednesday that the Iraqi Kurdistan will disregard international and regional pressure.
“Unfortunately, there is a great deal of international and regional pressure, as you know. 'The Great Powers'oppose the vote. But we are moving ahead to the fact that the referendum will take place,” Mohammed said.
The official noted that the recent move by the Iraqi parliament to reject the vote would not stop the referendum commission from preparing and conducting the referendum.
The commission follows only Kurdistan’s autonomous legislation and orders from President of Iraqi Kurdistan Masoud Barzani, he added.
Back in June, Barzani announced his plan to hold a referendum on the independence of Kurdistan from Iraq on September 25.
The move has received widespread criticism from Iraqi authorities who describe the referendum as unconstitutional. The Iraqi parliament as also rejected the vote.
A number of regional countries including Iran, Turkey and Syria have also expressed strong opposition to the September 25 referendum.
While the U.S. opposed the vote, Israel, however, has expressed support for it.