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Kurdistan is the new Israel, says Iran

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By Chris Harris
Kurdistan is the new Israel, says Iran

Kurdistan’s bid for independence is part of a foreign plan to create a new Israel in the Middle East, it’s been claimed.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said America and Israel both benefit from the creation of a sovereign Kurdistan, according to state TV.

Kurdistan, currently an autonomous region in northern Iraq, angered its neighbours last month by holding a referendum on independence.

More than 90 percent backed separating from Baghdad in the September 25 poll.

Israel had been one of the few countries to back Kurdistan independence, while the US was against it because of fears it would distract from the fight against ISIL.

Khamenei, fresh from a meeting with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, said both countries should prevent Kurdistan from declaring independence.

“America and Israel benefit from the vote,” he said. “They want to create a new Israel in the region.”

“The Iraqi Kurdish secession vote is an act of betrayal toward the entire region,” he added.

It comes after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi demanded Kurdish authorities annul the referendum on independence.

He also banned international flights to the region.

The Kurdistan Regional Government insists the vote was legitimate and accused Abadi of “collective punishment”.