Masrour Barzani on referendum aftermath
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Iraqi Kurds vote: Lack of foreign backing 'disappoints'

Masrour Barzani, the intelligence and security chief in the Kurdistan Regional Government says he is disappointed the US and much of the international community opposed the recent vote for independence by Iraqi Kurds.

People voted in large numbers for independence from Iraq hoping it would give them a mandate to negotiate secession.

But Iraq's prime minister denounced the vote as "unconstitutional" and an Iraqi federal court has ordered the arrest of Kurdistan Region's electoral commission officials involved in overseeing the referendum.

Neighbours Turkey and Iran, fearing separatist unrest in their own Kurdish minorities, threatened to close borders and impose sanctions on oil exports.

Mr Barzani, who is the son of Kurdish President Massoud Barzani, said he was "disappointed" the international community and especially the US had not supported the vote.

He was afraid that their opposition had "emboldened" Baghdad to reach out to neighbouring counties to put a blockade on Iraqi Kurdistan "and to collectively punish the people of Kurdistan".

You can see the Hardtalk interview in full on Thursday 12 October on BBC World News and the BBC News Channel and after on BBC iPlayer (UK only).

  • 12 Oct 2017