MESOP TODAY’S QUOTATION (I) : One of Iran’s targets is the Kurds as much as it is ISIS / By Ayub Nuri

Iran’s presidential advisor and former intelligence minister said last week that Iraq is part of Iran and it cannot be divided. Tehran is getting Baghdad back on its feet and in a strong bargaining position. With ISIS gone, Baghdad would no longer put up with any talk of Kurdish independence: since the tide turned against ISIS in Diyala and Salahaddin, Iraqi leaders have reneged on their agreements with Erbil.
In this scenario where Iran is clearly going to be the master of Iraq for many more years, the Kurds’ strongest bargaining chip is their unity. The Peshmerga still have the world’s respect and the war with ISIS reinvigorated them. But the Kurdish leadership must transform this force into a national army with a central command. To deal with the post-ISIS Baghdad, the Kurds must mark their new borders, keep Kirkuk and all areas they won in the recent conflict and never put an inch of Kurdish territory in any negotiation plan with Baghdad. Watch Full Text