Iran doesn’t blame Iraqi Kurdistan for strategic mistakes, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in reference to the Kurdish independence referendum.

Even though Iran regards the recent decision of Erbil’s authorities to hold a referendum as strategically wrong, it does not blame Iraqi Kurdistan for the mistakes as they share “everlasting” friendly relations with the region, Zarif said on Friday.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is an everlasting friend of the Iraqi people, including the Kurds of this country, and does not consider the strategic mistakes made by certain individuals as those of the Iraqi Kurdish people,” he said.

The Iranian foreign minister made the remarks on the sidelines of the funeral procession of Iraqi Kurdish leader and former Iraqi president Jalal Talabani in Iraqi Kurdistan’s city of Sulaymaniyah.

Talabani, who served as the president of Iraq from 2005 to 2014, passed away in Germany on Tuesday at the age of 83.

Zarif called on the Kurdish authorities to follow the example of Talabani, who was of Kurdish origin and was considered a symbol of Iraq’s unity.

Iran and Turkey have voiced strong opposition to the Kurdish referendum as it threatens regional stability and security, and takes regional country’s attention away from the fight against terrorism.