Policy Brief

KRG Referendum and Baghdad’s Crises Management

Despite wide-scale domestic, regional and international objections, President of the Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) Massoud Barzani insisted on the independence referendum to be held on September 25, 2017. Although he announced the referendum would not be binding, it was not accepted internationally or at a regional level. The United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union stood out as the leading international powers rejecting the referendum. These powers warned the KRG of holding a referendum and advised it to look over the referendum decision and not to hold it. Regional powers (Iran and Turkey), on the other hand, took a stiffer and stronger stand against a possible referendum and imposed some economic, security-related and diplomatic sanctions.