The results of the referendum in the Kurdistan region and the region of Catalonia are not only facing the rejecting position of the executive authority in Iraq and Spain, but the circle of rejection expanded to include the judicial authority in those countries, on November 6, the Supreme Federal Court ruled that any area or province in Iraq can not separated from the country , which strengthens the grip of the government, while seeking not to repeat the referendum held by the Kurdistan on 25 of the last September) “. A court spokesman said the verdict came in response to a request from the federal government to put an end to any erroneous interpretation of the constitution and to confirm the unity of Iraq. Shortly after the ruling, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi urged the KRG to abide by the ruling. “We call on the region to declare a clear commitment to non-separation or independence from Iraq, based on the decision of the Federal Court ,” he said in a statement. And in line with the association rejecting the referendum, on 8 November, the Supreme Constitutional Court of Spain ruled that the Catalan parliament’s decision to disengage from the country, voted on October 27, was canceled following a referendum deemed illegal by the court. .
In the political sense, several similar factors have joined in a relative manner that contributed to the failure of the referendum of Kurdistan and Catalonia. Spain, first of all: the government of the two countries refused to hold such a referendum and the r big and superpowers and regional countries rejected them except for the Israeli position toward Kurdistan and Russia’s position on Catalonia. As a matter of fact it was impossible to pass its results and impose them as a reality in a multi-level environment that rejects them. The second similarity, inside the Kurdistan was the existence of an internal rejection which is not announced by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, this refusal, which was not realized by Barzani where it contributed to the rush to hold the referendum and then abandoned it, when the federal government forces in Baghdad and the Popular Popular Forces started to move towards Kirkuk , the disputed city under the Iraqi constitution for the year 2005, “There are of course the positions of Turkmen and the Arabs of the Kurdistan region, refusing to secession,” while within Catalonia there is a trend in favor of the Spanish unit has expressed itself by a major demonstration. In addition to these two fundamental political reasons, geography has also played a major role in thwarting the two projects of independence. The Kurdistan Region of Iraq has no maritime space and borders surrounded by enemy states that can actually suffocate it. Despite Catalonia’s best geopolitical fortunes as having a large maritime area on the Mediterranean, but the land borders with France and the rest of the Spanish Kingdom would constitute, if closed, a huge impediment to its existence and continuity.
The follower of the repercussions of the Kurdistan referendum concludes that: Massoud Barzani – in terms he knows or does not know – provided a great service to Iraq is that it is difficult to divide it and that any future separatist attempt will be doomed to failure. This conviction is also a service to Iran and Turkey and Iraq is one of the pillars of the foreign policy of these two countries. On the other hand, after this failure, it is difficult for any state or ruler or president to announce openly and publicly that he was a supporter of the referendum of the Kurdistan region of Iraq, now that Massoud Barzanis has stepped down from the presidency of the region, he is welcomed as an Iraqi citizen from the Kurdistan region, if he refused this, he would Face his fate.
The region as the Kurdistan region of Iraq is not overlooking the areas of maritime and dependent on other countries economically, and linked to Baghdad, Turkey and Tehran, and divided politically. The weaknesses will become increasingly apparent as the federal government in Iraq gains influence and credibility across Iraq, Arab, Middle Eastern and international states, and Iraqi nationalism continues to grow among the masses. Under these circumstances, the KRG has no choice but to negotiate with the Iraqi government and the region for sustainability, just as it has for decades. But the difference now, after the disastrous referendum, is that instead of negotiating from a position of strength, the KRG has to deal with Baghdad from a position of weakness.
Iraqi Studies Unit
Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies