The Iraqi Kurdish parliament has voted for a referendum on the 25th of this month. The present Barzani leader of that parliament says that they might postpone that a bit if the somewhat frightened concerned powers propose an actual alternative date, one that is not just diplomatic pettifoggery and empty rhetoric.
The Iraqi parliament and Iraq's Shia Arab president, Abadi, have made it very clear that the state of Iraq will not accept a vote in Kurdistan for an independent Kurdish state. The history of Iraq as a country from the end of the Ottoman Empire to the present is an endless series of iterations of resistance to Baghdad's authority followed by various combinations of Kurdish factions cooperating with the government against the other Kurdish factions. This usually took the shape of the Talabani Kurds and the Barzani Kurds thinking of themselves as two sides of a triangular struggle with the government. This moiety in Kurdish society seems eternal.
Complicating the present situation is the nature of the Baghdad government which is now Shia while 90% of the Iraqi Kurds are thought to be Sunni Muslims.
A serious attempt to separate Iraqi Kurdistan from Iraq proper seems likely to lead to yet another war between Baghdad and the Kurds.
Iran, Turkey, Syria, the US are all opposed to the idea of an independent Kurdish state carved out of the existing countries of the region. Only the Kurds and the Israelis favor the idea. STT discussed their attitude in the wake of my piece "Is this what is driving US Kurdish policy?" on 12 September. The Israeli attitude on this seems a part of their general policy and desire to foster enfeeblement of the countries of the region so as to have greater relative weight in the region's business. pl