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Kurdish referendum and Kirkuk’s future split parties, let alone Iraq

The dispatch of a high-level Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) delegation to Tehran on 16 July was another sign of the swelling domestic and foreign unease at Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Massoud Barzani’s almost indecent haste in pushing for an independence referendum in the Kurdish Region of Iraq (KRI). The signs are that Kurds will vote for independence from Baghdad on 25 September, which will severely complicate relations with Shia-dominated Iraq and the wider region.

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