Iraq: Kurdish Regional Government Threatens To Hold Independence Vote

June 2, 2014 | 1115 GMT
Massoud Barzani, president of the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq has presented Baghdad with a threat of a referendum to declare independence if Iraq’s central government does not accept the regional government’s demands, Daily Sabah reported June 2. In an official statement, the Kurdish Regional Government said it would begin negotiations with Baghdad. Tensions between the region and the central government have risen recently for several reasons, including Baghdad’s opposition to the region’s sale of oil to the United States and Israel via Turkey. Barzani has raised the possibility of Kurdish independence in the past.