ANKARA (Reuters) - Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday after meeting Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Tehran that the two countries should prevent Iraq’s Kurdistan region from declaring independence, state TV reported.
“Turkey and Iran must take necessary measures against the vote,” Khamenei was quoted as saying.
He also said the United States and foreign powers planned to create a new Israel in the Middle East by supporting the vote in Kurdistan, according to state TV.
“America and Israel benefit from the vote ... They want to create a new Israel in the region ... The Iraqi Kurdish secession vote is an act of betrayal toward the entire region,” Khamenei said.
Israel has denied being involved in the vote, but it has welcomed the Kurds’ vote for independence.
The United States opposed the referendum as a destabilizing move at a time when all sides in the region are still fighting Islamic State.
Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Hugh Lawson