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Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense: Independence of Iraqi Kurdistan, Iran’s National Security and Possible Scenarios


From 1991 to today, the debate on the independence of the Kurdistan region of Iraq has been one of the main crises in Iraq. Massoud Barzani, head of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, has set up a referendum on independence from the central government of Iraq on 25 September 2017 to reach Iraq’s goal, and has advanced Iraq to the brink of danger of separatism and civil war. In this paper, the author’s efforts are about providing a solid and scientific answer to the question of how the referendum on the independence of the Kurdish region of Iraq will affect the security of the Islamic Republic of Iran? And what kind of scenarios can be expected for the future of the Kurdish region of Iraq? The findings of the paper, which are based on the theory of the Haug Miall Crisis Cycle Model, suggest that the historical background to this crisis was practically the Saddam’s Ba’athist regime in 1991, and the failure of the Iraqi government to lead the US-led coalition. The evolutionary stage of the crisis was due to the US invasion of Iraq and the lack of a powerful government and conflicts among Iraqi Arab groups, the emergence of ISIS and the opportunism of Iraq in post-Saddam developments. In the repression and civil wars, it is possible to point out the military challenges of the Kurds and the central government in relation to the Kirkuk issue and the geopolitical and economic issues of the Kurdistan region. Finally, the impact of the political and economic sanctions of the countries of the region such as Iran, Turkey and Iraq can be at the stage of mediation and mediation. International dissatisfaction, the death of Jalal Talabani, the internal challenges of Iraq included in the Kurdish climate. Finally, the authors plotted three major scenarios on the future of the Kurdish region of Iraq. The research method of this paper is based on the method of Futurology and the use of written and virtual resources.



The issue of independence of Kurdistan in the West Asia region, apart from the ethnic, political, and economic challenges posed by the region, the main reason for the creation of security crises has been. Meanwhile, Turkey, Iraq, Syria and the Islamic Republic of Iran have always faced a major challenge to the Kurdish issue. Iraq, due to its strategic position, a large crowd of Kurds and The rich reserves of oil in the Kurdistan region of this country (Erbil and Kirkuk) has been always faced with the Kurdish separatism. Iraqi Kurds as the second largest ethnic group, accounting for about 19% of Iraq’s population, located in four provinces of Sulaimaniyah, Erbil, Dohuk and Kirkuk and parts of the provinces of Ninawa, Salah al-Din and Diyala. Kurds have been able in 1991, despite the severe repression of the Ba’ath regime in Iraq, Anti-Saddam coalition led by America and UN intervention were able to form the “regional Kurdistan Regional Government”. The most important point is that the Kurdistan Region, as the Middle East Hartland, is it place for linking ethnicities Turk, Fars, and Arabs. It has been a place for more than a decade that it seeks for independence and the Kurds have taken a lot of steps to reach this goal. Massoud Barzani at the Davos Security Conference announced September 25, 2017, as the Kurdish Independence Day, and despite the strong opposition from the central government of Iraq, Turkey, the Islamic Republic of Iran and some other states, with the implicit support of Israel, the referendum was held. This Barzani’s action has increased the concerns of Iran, Turkey, Syria and the central government of Iraq and in the first response, the threat of comprehensive political and economic sanctions against the Iraqi Kurdistan began. Turkey strongly condemned the referendum and threatened repeatedly against Barzani and the Kurdistan region. This has aggravated the Kurdistan Free Life Party’s challenge to the central government of Turkey, and on the other hand, there are more than 22 million Kurds in Turkey, and in particular in Diyarbakır province, therefore, Turkey felt the danger of Kurds more than ever. Syria has also felt the danger of Kurdish Democrats well, especially during the opposition forces of the Assad government. And Iraq, which has been recently in internal warfare to clean up the ISIS, This time on the eve of another civil war with the Kurds. The Islamic Republic of Iran considered the plan of Kurdistan referendum as a Conspiracy of global power in the region which it goal is the instability of the borders of Iran, Damage to the resistance axis, Compensation for ISIS’s defeat and new pretexts to re-engage the United States in the region.

With this brief description, this article seeks to examine the crisis of Kurdistan referendum by using the Haug Miall Crisis Cycle Model. What is the impact of the independence of Kurdistan region crisis on the security of the region and the political-ideological frontiers of the Islamic Republic of Iran? And what possible scenarios can be imagined for the political future of Iraqi Kurdistan? Therefore, the main questions of this article are to examine these two major issues.

Research method: The research method in this paper is based on the method of futures studies. Future studies include approaches that seek resources, patterns, and factors of change or stability, to portray potential future and plan for them. Future studies reflect how the reality of tomorrow is born of the change (or stability) of today. Future topics include types of “possible”, “probable” and “arbitrary” to change from the present to the future. Some of the most important futuristic presuppositions are:

-Possible Future: Everything, whether good or bad, probable or unlikely, can occur in the future;

-Possible or probable events: What is likely to happen in the future (Based on the continuation of current trends in the future);

-Ideal destinations: the best and most desirable future event;

Target: Probably the desired future [1].

Background Research

A wide range of articles and books are available in this regard, for example:

-”Analysis of the Challenges of Kurdistan and the Central Government of Iraq and its impact on the Country’s Future “ by Bahador Zarei and Kamal Ranjbari Chichooran.

After the collapse of the Baath regime Iraq into the new structure of governance and power sharing system between ethno-religious blocs and the Kurdish people due to the opportunities could be legalized their demands in Iraq’s new system and formed the KRG. According to cracks Kurdish identity with the central government and high geopolitical weight the Kurdish turned the non-aligned policies with the central government in economic, political, security and etc. This situation creates numerous challenges between the KRG and the central government. This research is applied and is discussed to collect data by Descriptive- Analytical and library- online references. First, to review and explain the challenges between the KRG and Iraq’s central government; And then by using the data obtained its impact on the future of Iraq’s political challenges have been examined. The results show that between KRG and the central government are numerous structural and functional challenges; including: (direct sales of oil and economic policies, military, foreign relations and territoriality in the Kurdish areas outside Kurdistan). If these challenges are not resolved legally and understanding between the parties the political future of Iraq and the KRG are at risk and exacerbating the crisis in that country.

-”The Complications of Kurdish Independence” by Albertus Jacobus Meintjes.

The Middle East is a constant source of security and diplomatic related issues that are made complex by the heterogeneous background of its people, with states such as Iraq home to a mixed variety of people from different cultural and religious Backgrounds. The Kurdish people are one such group, with a storied history of strife. Most recently a referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan has opened the topic of separation and the formation of a Kurdish state. This paper briefly examines the problems surrounding such a move, looking at the Kurdish region and its neighbours as well as possibilities for the future, referencing a wide range of news sources typically unused by the academic community.

-”The repercussions of the Iraqi Kurdistan independence referendum”

Iraqi Kurdistan President Masoud Barzani appears to have overreached in holding a referendum on independence, although almost 93% voted for it. Major Powers support Iraq’s territorial integrity. The Iraqi government has asserted military control over the region with Iran’s help. Facing political and economic isolation, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s authority and cohesion has been weakened. Barzani’s futility has likely hardened the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK)’s position in Turkey and increased its regional freedom of action.

-”Soft Threats of the Autonomy of Iraqi Kurdistan and Their Impacts on Iranian Kurds” by Hassan Bojmehrani and Mahdi Pour Islamic.

The approval of the Constitution of Iraq in 2005 and formation of a federal government and consequently the establishment of the autonomous region of Kurdistan have led a considerable impact on the adjacent countries. Due to the neighborhood of the Kurdistan with the Kurdish area of our country as well as their cultural and ethnic ties some preparations have been made for soft threat against the Islamic Republic of Iran. The signification of Kurdish culture and identity in line with pan Kurdism, and promotion of the level of political, cultural and economic demands despite the existing economic limitations in our country are among soft threats posed against the security of Iran. The main objectives of the present paper, based on descriptive-analytical method, are to study the commonalities between the Kurds of the two countries, find out the soft power of Kurds, and review the history of the struggles and longstanding claims of some Kurdish parties for realization of Great Kurdistan. The main focus of the present paper is to study the developments in Iraqi Kurdistan within the framework of soft threat against the Islamic Republic of Iran which is a new endeavor. Hence, the main question of the present paper is: what soft threats the recent developments in Iraqi Kurdistan pose against the security of Iran? The hypothesis of the present paper is: due to cultural, identity, and ethnic as well as the soft power of Kurdistan, the autonomy of the Iraqi Kurdistan, on the side of their activities to promote the Kurdish identity, poses soft threat to Iran.

But the innovation of the current paper can be explained in the following ways:

-Factors Creator for independence in Kurdistan;

-The most important approaches in the implementation of the referendum plan; -The most important feedback of referendum in the region;

– Feedback of referendum on the security of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the region.

Theoretical framework:

The “Cycle Crisis Model” is proposed by Haug Miall, in which several stages are considered for a crisis [2]. This step is as follows:

-Stage of potential crisis;

-The stage of crisis developmental; -Collision stage;

-The stage of repression and civil war;

-Mediation of international and regional organizations and powers [2].

In the first stage, a set of factors causes the political system to lead to a crisis, however, the crisis has not yet happened seriously. In other words, in the first step, approaches that cause inflammation and controversy by opponents. The protests that are most peaceful are announced to the central government and the central government is expected to attend their demands [3]. In the second phase or the development of a crisis, government approaches will determine the continuation or non-continuation of crises. If the government does not pay attention to the protesters, the scope of protests has intensified and this time the issue of decriminalizing the central government is raised. Indeed, the government’s serious political unwillingness to carry out political reforms is broadening the scope of protests and pushing central government policies toward intimidation and repression [4]. In the collision or dream phase, the crisis of the legitimacy of the central government has reached its highest limit and opponents and protesters do not legitimize for government. In this case, the protesters were disappointed with the reform and the crisis between the government and the protesters is intensifying and a collision and the confrontation happens. In this case, the control of the crisis by the central government also comes with difficulty, the government tries to deal with the protests of the opposition by applying a quick reform policy but the failure of the central government to quickly implement reforms and gain dissident satisfaction brings the challenges to public acceptance of the opposition spectrum into armed conflicts. Eventually, the crisis ends with the arrival and mediation of regional and trans-regional organizations and powers. At this stage, which is the end of the crisis, approaches such as disarmament, carry out reforms by government, actually, the challenges and crises are over [5]. So the present paper, focusing on the above theory, to explain the crisis of the independence of the Kurdistan Figure1.


Analysis of the Iraqi kurdistan’s crisis crisis based on the haug miall crisis model:

Historical backdrop of the Iraqi kurdistan’s climate crisis:The starting point for the Kurdish regional crisis began with the heavy defeat that the Kurdish movement faced in Iraq after the end of the eight-year war between Iran and Iraq. The symbol of this failure was the operation of Anfal and the chemical attacks of the Iraqi Ba’ath army in Halabja. In such a situation, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait took place on August 2, 1990. And the decision of the international community to impose sanctions and threats to a military confrontation for the unconditional return of Iraq provided a good opportunity for the Kurdish movement of this country [6]. Indeed, following Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait and the defeat of the United States-led coalition forces in 1991, a wave of internal unrest spread throughout Iraq and the central government of the country involved in the insurgency with Shiites and the Kurds. In these uprisings, the Kurds succeeded in releasing 14 districts from the 18 Kurdish areas and within a week, The Kurds insurgent forces took over not only the three states of Sulaimaniyah, Erbil and Dohuk, but also parts of Tamim Province, which included the Kirkuk oil town. Along with these developments, the Kurds participated in the conference of opposition groups in Iraq to adopt a joint strategy that took place March 11-13 in Beirut, and took steps to overthrow Saddam and formulate a system that achieved relative success. Following this move, Saudi Arabia also invited the United States to not intervene in Iraq because of fears of the Shi’ites in southern Iraq. Turkey has also adopted such a strategy because of concerns about the autonomy of the Kurds [7]. Saddam Hussein after the repression of Shiite rebellion, March 24 while emphasizing the issue of Kurdish Autonomy, focused his attention on the Kurdish rebellion. During a massive operation, broke the Kurds riot which led to the fall of Kurdish cities and displaced 1.5 million Kurds. Saddam Hussein has destroyed more than 4,000 Kurdish villages; chemical attack hit 200 Kurds area and the destruction of many Kurdish buildings and organizations [8]. Following the events in the context of the political literature, the development of the crisis of the participation of Kurds and the extreme political restrictions of them in Iraq has gradually brought about widespread protests and unrest. This was the response of the Security Council and passed resolution 688 to prevent the displacement of the Kurds. Following the adoption of this resolution, a secure area was established in northern and southern Iraq under the supervision of international forces. The provinces of Sulaimaniyah, Erbil, and Duhok, located in the orbit of the north, have been released from Baghdad’s influence and under the sovereignty and influence of the Kurdish parties and groups and then established a government called the “Regional Government of Iraqi Kurdistan” [7].

 Development of the Iraqi Kurdistan crisis:After the Iraq occupation by U.S. in 2003, Kurdistan region was used as a base by the United States to overthrow Saddam, and the Kurds became US intelligence allies in Iraq. Kurdish behavior patterns on convergence and tactical co-operation with different groups in order to achieve the major goals of self-striving increase the size of the Kurdistan region, increased autonomy and control of the city of Kirkok [9]. The Kurds also held five seats in the Interim Coalition Council. This council promised them to compensate Kurdish rights and return the claimed areas. In the negotiations of the Iraqi constitution, while the Iraqi Arab parties collapsed in political terms, the Kurdish parties, through their alliance, were more influential in the advancement of the transitional rule than in Iraqi Arabs. In the process of forming the Iraqi constitution, which defined the country as a federal government, the federal law was the result of the active participation of the Kurds in the government and the transitional government of Iraq and this law made the Iraqi Kurds centered in that country and the Middle East [8].

Stage of crushing or confrontation between the kurds and central government:The stage of the collision between the Kurds and the central government of Iraq began in 2007, when Kurdish policy changed against the central government and spread to the postreferendum. The Kurdish region sought to implement Article 140 of the Constitution Whereby the disputed areas between Kurdistan and the central government of Iraq, should be put to a referendum by 2007. Kurds considered postponement of Article 140 of the Constitution as a sign of the central government’s opposition. As a result of these differences, the Kurdistan Parliament approved the draft constitution of the Kurdistan Regional Government, and equaled it, Kurdistan oil and gas, and signed various contracts with international oil companies. With the withdrawal of US forces in 2011, the Kurdish regional government disagreed with the central government over the Kurdish Autonomy and disputed territory and the implementation of article 140 of the Iraqi constitution and Iraqi oil law, and the Nouri al-Maliki government regarded the Kurds as a serious threat to Iraq’s territorial integrity. In the following, the process of Kurdistan and central government disputes has been intensified. In 2012, Kurds blamed Maliki’s government for violating the Iraqi constitution and federalism in the Kurdistan region. In this regard, the Kurdistan Region announced that according to Article 19 of the 2007 Oil and Gas Law, until the situation of the disputed regions is not put to a referendum, this region will not allow Baghdad to carry out oil operations. In the rest of the Kurdistan Region, it regulated its oil exports without the approval of Baghdad. In response to this summit, the central government cut back the budget of 17% of the Kurdistan Regional Government (Mohammadian, 2015:134).

The stage of repression and civil war:In 2014, with the capture of Kirkuk by ISIL, the Peshmerga Kurds managed to reach forty percent of the disputed lands after the withdrawal of Kirkuk from ISIL and this extended the scope of the dispute with the central government and the Kurdish regional government managed to bring its sovereignty closer to the sovereignty of the two gurus and the Kurdish government managed to bring its sovereignty closer to the de jure sovereignty. This political disarray of Iraq created a new opportunity for the Kurdistan to fulfill the long-standing demands of the Kurds. The senior government officials and political parties in Kurdistan announced the date of the referendum on independence on September 25, 2017, and the referendum was held in due date. The Kurdistan Regional Election Commission says 92.7% of the people voted for Iraqi separation from Kurdistan and this referendum could have pushed Iraq toward separatism, the threat of territorial integrity and civil war [10]. The challenges between the Kurdistan region and the central government reached their peak in this period, until after a referendum, a civilian civil war was taking place between the opposition spectrum (the Kurds) and the central government that during a short time Led to the defeat of the Kurds and the military forces of the Iraqi government entered Kirkuk.

International regional powers: In general, the issue of why the Kurdish Government of the Kurdistan suspended the referendum and demanded a peaceful dialogue with the central government of Iraq, Several reasons can be mentioned:

The strategic coalition of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Turkey:However, after the Islamic awakening, the Turks sought to lead the Islamic world, trending spread of secularism in revolutionary societies in the Arab world and they were somehow isolated from the Islamic Republic of Iran, but the importance of Kurdistan issue and its security challenges for both countries was a factor in their unity in the Kurdistan issue [11]. Massoud Barzani, the Kurdish leader, ignored this issue, suffered an important computing slip, Particularly his neglect of the fact that after the failed coup of Turkey in 2016, Erdogan’s approaches to the Kurds have been examined with great sensitivity [12]. For this reason, the convergence of Iran and Turkey towards Kurdistan can be considered one of the important feedback of Barzani’s independence policy.

Significant development of the central government’s military power in the form of The Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF):The Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) was established under the orders of the Supreme Shiites of Iraq, Ayatollah Sistani during the occupation of Iraq by the ISIS terrorist forces. After the dissolution of the Iraqi army during the occupation by the US forces so far, Iraq has virtually no organized military force. For this reason, after the rapid formation of this group and its organization by military experts such as Haider alAbadi, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and other militants who collaborated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Many ideological conspiracies, such as the rise of ISIL, al-Qaeda in Iraq, and other terrorist groups, have declined [13]. After referendum, The Popular Mobilization Forces were one of the most active military groups in Kirkuk on the orders of the central government and overwhelmingly controlled many of the strategic cities of Kurdistan region. Barzani referred to as the “betrayal of some Peshmerga agents.” Therefore, it should be pointed out to this important issue that since the establishment of PMF, many of its activities have been successful since its inception such as retrieving Occupied Iraqi territory and creating security in this country. So, Barzani has realized the depth of PMF military power after taking control of cities like Kirkuk.

The split between the ruling elites of Kurdistan:Another important reason for suspending the outcome of the referendum in the Kurdistan region is the issue of non-alignment among the ruling elite of Kurdistan. For example, the Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament has not met since October 2015, following the challenges that have arisen over the extension of Barzani’s presidency. The culmination of conflicts among the Kurdish elites could be reciprocal allegations against the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan that, in the aftermath of Kirkuk’s defeat, showed a degree of political turmoil in the Iraqi Kurdistan region [14]. Also, some leaders of the Patriotic Union and the Revolutionary Movement are demanding resignation and Barzani’s resignation from the presidency of the Kurdistan region, as Barzani is responsible for all major challenges to the central government of Iraq, causing deep divisions of political life in the Kurdistan region and dragging it towards A referendum and insistence on doing so despite the rejection of this issue by many Kurdish parties [15].

Unprecedented calculations for Iraq in past ISIS:Another factor in the failure to achieve the referendum on the independence of Kurdistan, should be the other irony of Barzani’s assessment of Iraq in the past ISIS. Following the defeat of ISIL in Iraq and the existing deep political gap, the relative challenges among Sunni Arabs, Turkmens, Yazidis, and even Shiites (the challenges between Sadr and other Shiite groups), Barzani took advantage of the opportunity, and he did a referendum on this issue, arguing that the independence of Kurdistan did not require the approval of the central government. But the important thing is that the feedback from such policies will not only stimulate the Kurds of other countries, but also will lead to a kind of independence among the Sunni Arabs in Iraq. For this reason, Iraq, in cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran, Turkey and Syria, failed to dispel the issue of the referendum on the Iraqi Kurdistan (Figure 2) [16].

The Impact of the Kurdistan Regional Crisis and Iran National Security Threats:

The region geopolitical balance impaired and the emergence of Shiite enemy groups in the region

Regarding the impact of the Kurdistan crisis on the national security of Iran, it should be acknowledged that the establishment of Shiite power in Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and the increase of Iran’s power and influence in Lebanon led to a major development in favor of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which saw the change of Shi’a is named geopolitics in the region. This means that the leadership and political initiative in the Middle East, which was endowed by Sunni Arab governments since the end of the Second World War, is now in the hands of the Shiites headed by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Another important point is that the large Iraqi population is Shiite. About 70 percent of Iraqis are Shiites. Shiite Iraq is a strategic asset for Iran. Therefore, the breakdown of Iraq can make this position in favor of the rival regional players of Turkey that essence of religion in this country is secular Islam. The nature of religion in Saudi Arabia is also Wahhabi Islam. Both of these issues can be dangerous for the geopolitics of the Shiites, especially Iran. On the other hand, the Kurdish federal government will provide an environment for opponents of the Islamic Republic of Iran which can be dangerous to this country [17]. The opposition groups of the Islamic Republic of Iran, such as Kurdistan Free Life Party, Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan, Iran’s Democrat, repeatedly by their actions inside the Kurdistan region have led to insecurity on the borders and in some western cities of Iran [18].

Encouraging the Kurdish nationalist tendencies in Iran and the region:

Independence of the Kurdistan region will promote the growth and strengthening of the sentiments of ethnic nationalism among the countries of the region and will face them with a wave of Nationalistic sentiments, and will challenge the political and social security of the countries of the region and bring the region to an instability [19]. Therefore, the growth of Kurdish nationalism is a challenge to Iran’s national security and the territorial integrity of Iran. The Kurdish political, economic, and political activities in the form of a Kurdish government will increase the political and cultural demands of the Kurds of Iran from the central government [20].

Israel’s proximity to the borders of Iran:

At the regional level, the referendum on the Kurdistan has only one official consent, and it is Israel. A new Kurdish effort to achieve independence provided a good opportunity for the presence of Israel in the northern regions of Iraq to provide support for the Kurds and their encouragement to independence in order to break up Iraq to investigate territorial claims in the land. The plans of the great Israel and the land of Nile to the Euphrates reveal the size of Israel’s territorial claims and its strategic objectives. Such allegations made long before the formation of the state of Israel, Following the overthrow of Saddam, the Israelis are being followed with more precise design. In order to achieve its goals in Iraqi Kurdistan, Israel started its presence through the technical infrastructure of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, seeking political-security influence. Israel through a wide range of measures such as:

  1. Arming the Arak and military training (training 75 thousand Kurdish commandos known as the Peshmerga);
  2. The purchase of land and the restoration of 90,000 Jewish Kurds living in Israel to their mainland, Iraq, has expanded its influence on the Iraqi Kurdistan region [21]. Israel’s strategic interests in the formation of an independent Kurdish state are:
  3. Insecurity of Israeli opposition;
  4. The disintegration of Iraq, which reduces Israel’s threat and contrasts the balance of power in the region in favor of Israel;
  5. Controlling intellectual currents and information monitoring over other countries in the region;
  6. Supplying the required oil through the Kurdistan region;
  7. Transfer of sweet sweetish Kurdistan through Jordan to Israel [10].

The spread of secular Islam in the region and strategic convergence with US policies

The Kurdish tendency towards secularism and the existence of relativity in the Kurdistan, partly due to the successful Kurdish government’s experience, has been instrumental in gaining US confidence. In general, the formation of Kurdistan can be regarded as good opportunities for the United States:

  1. Formation of a new ally for the United States in the Middle East that claims acceptance of Western values such as democracy and secularism [22].
  2. Have the Kurdish government leverage to put pressure on Turkey, Syria and Iran and Iraq in the future;
  3. Formation of an ally for Israel;
  4. The breakdown of the resistance axis between Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hezbollah;
  5. Decrease America’s dependence on the Injerlik military base of Turkey (Figure 3) [23].

Kurdistan and Possible Scenarios in Post-Referendum

Now that, in spite of holding a referendum in Kurdistan, its achievements have practically been zero for the Kurds to some extent, it can be acknowledged that the feedback of such an event will not make it possible for at least a few years to establish the independence of this region, there are several possible scenarios for the Kurdistan:

Crisis intensification:The possible scenario can be considered as an escalation of military conflicts between the central government of Iraq and the military forces of the Kurdistan Region, known as the Peshmerga. However, after the referendum, the military conflicts of the central government of Iraq and the Peshmerga have intensified, it can be argued that with the emphasis on the rights of the kurds people, especially after the upcoming elections to the Iraqi parliament and the failure to fulfill their expectations, More conflicts between the central government and the Kurdistan region looks probable;

Two-way management scenario:This strategy implies dual management in Kurdistan. As previously, we have seen this in this region. In fact, some kurds elites government who are basically from Sulaimaniyah, Iraq, do not consider Massoud Barzani’s policies not only to fulfill the goals of the Kurdish people, but also regard the bad current of Kurdistan as a result of his misconduct. For this reason, Sulaimaniyah Kurds have announced that if Barzani wants to control Kurdistan region unilaterally, they will seek the declaration of Sulaimaniyah’s independence. Indeed, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan believes the conditions have been provided for ending its strategic alliance with Barzani that signed, under pressure from the U.S. in 2006. An agreement that gave the Kurdistan Region’s presidency to the Democratic Party of Iraq and provided the Patriotic Party with the Iraqi Presidency. Agreed scenario: The legitimacy of this scenario implies that the historical experience of the Kurdish conflict is about the need to prioritize wisdom and defend against party and personal interests. There are some factors that make this scenario possible. Including Barzani’s widespread reform and activation of the parliament and new strategies for managing the Kurdistan and pursuing economic of this region with a new manager. Each of the scenarios mentioned has its own motivations and factors, and sets Kurdistan’s sovereignty over options. In any case, the Kurdistan is facing an important challenge to determine its fate. In this situation, the leaders of the Kurdistan Region should either stop their deep conflicts and deepening of the political agreement and take the reformist and root process to end the crisis of the presidency and party fractions in the region or enter the scenario they see any possible in future.


In this paper, the authors try to explain the issue of the referendum on the independence of the Kurdistan Region based on the theory of the Haug Miall

Crisis Cycle Model and its implications for the national security of the Islamic Republic of Iran, as well as drawing up scenarios of this issue on the future of this region. Basically, Haug describes the process of crisis in several basic steps. These steps are as follows:

-Stage of potential crisis;

-The stage of crisis developmental;

-Collision stage; -The stage of repression and civil war;

-Mediation of international and regional organizations and powers

The referendum on the Iraqi Kurdistan Region was held on September 25, 2017. Initially, the referendum was scheduled for 2014 in the middle of the conflict between the Kurdish government and the federal government in Iraq. Its results are binding on the Kurdistan Region, but the Iraqi federal government considers it illegal. Following the ISIS invasion of northern Iraq, which resulted in the Kurdish Peshmerga knowingly seizing some of the areas left by the forces under Baghdad’s control, the demands for independence in Kurdistan were strengthened. With the joint operation of the Kurdish forces and the central government of Iraq to liberate Mosul, The referendum was repeatedly announced and postponed, but by 2017 it was expected to be held in 2017. On June 7, 2017, Massoud Barzani, head of the Kurdistan Region, approved a referendum on the Kurdistan at a meeting with the parties Democratic Party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, and the Islamic Union of Kurdistan, the Kurdish Islamic Movement, the Kurdistan Communist Party of Iraq and several Kurdish parties. In spite of a referendum that categorically voted for Kurdistan’s independence, but in less than a few days, the results of the referendum were suspended, and Barzani, with his resignation, virtualy, the independence of Kurdistan became impossible. Meanwhile, the start of the crisis can be practically related to Saddam’s Ba’athist regime in 1991 and the failure of the Iraqi government from the international coalition forces led by America. Kurdish repression, Chemical attacks on Halabja and vigilant supervision over them all during the Saddam era, Kurdistan was surrounded by the most difficult political constraints. After the fall of Saddam, The occupation of Iraq by US forces, the lack of a strong central government in Iraq, conflicts between Iraqi Arab groups, and the emergence of ISIS and the opportunism of the Kurds in the post-Saddam developments, Kurdistan’s independence crisis has entered a new phase. (Potential and Evolution Stage). But the strategic coalition between Islamic Republic of Iran, Turkey and Iraq, The growing strength of The Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in Iraq, Distinction and disunity among Kurd government elites, And Barzani’s unpredictable calculations of Iraq’s post-war situation greatly reduced the crisis in Kurdistan.


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*Corresponding author: Abdolreza Alishahi, PhD in Political Science at Allameh Tabataba’i University, Tehran, Iran; Tel: +98 21 44737636; E-mail: AbdolrezaAlishahi@atu.ac.ir

Received December 05, 2018; Accepted December 20, 2018; Published December 27, 2018

Citation: Forouzan Y, Alishahi A (2018) Independence of Iraqi Kurdistan, Iran’s National Security and Possible Scenarios. J Bioterror Biodef 9: 165. doi: 10.4172/2157-2526.1000165

Copyright: © 2018 Forouzan Y, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and repro

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