The senior international affairs adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader has warned the Kurds in Iraq about going ahead with plans to secede from the state in the aftermath of its referendum on independence. Ali Akbar Velayati stressed that the referendum conducted this week was "illegal" and its results cannot be trusted as being accurate.
The Iranian official warned that the referendum will lead to political unrest and accused the United States and Israel of standing behind the poll.
According to Velayati, Iraqi-Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani has two options: he can back away from the referendum or confront the Iraqi people.
Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region held a referendum on Monday on secession from Baghdad, despite international and regional objections. Israel was the only country to support the move.