New York Times: Baghdad and Erbil do not want to turn the referendum into a crisis
Translation / Hamid Ahmed
As a result, the federal government in Baghdad stopped flights to the region and carried out maneuvers on the border from Iran and Turkey, while the two threatened economic sanctions and military interventions.
On the other hand, more than a week after the referendum, the Kurds did not take any effective action to declare their independence, nor did Baghdad and its allies take any action to implement their threats to intervene.
The referendum on self-determination was considered a moment of hope in the long struggle of the Kurds to find a homeland of their own, but it seems neither Baghdad nor the Kurds are determined to turn this event into a crisis.
Kurdish oil continues to flow despite the threats of the Turks to close the pipeline pipeline vital oil passing through its territory, as well as elements of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces are still fighting side by side the International Coalition in Iraq against Dahesh, and the borders of the region is open.
The military maneuvers by Turkey and Iran were viewed by all parties as merely a show of strength.
On Monday, Iran carried out a specific review by moving its combat tanks near the border crossing of Parviz Khan with Kurdistan, but the border is still open to civilian land transport as usual.
Baghdad's tougher action to ban international flights to and from the airport has been pacified this week when Iraqi authorities announced it would allow flights to be resumed from Kurdistan via transit from Baghdad airport.
The two sides' moves seem to have been motivated by at least some domestic political considerations. For the Kurds, the observers and opponents have seen in the timing of the referendum, an attempt by the presidency of the Kurdistan region to strengthen its internal popular presence and the attention of people to the problems of the economic region. In Baghdad, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's hard-line stance has been seen as an attempt to appease militants from Shi'ite leaders who demand a violent response to Kurdish provocations.
Saad al-Hadithi, a spokesman for Abadi, said in an interview with the New York Times, that the Iraqi government has not implemented most of its threats yet to give the Kurds "an opportunity to retract their position."
He went on to say that "the government does not want to ignite the situation, we believe they will retreat," stressing that the government has set a timetable to force the Kurds to hand over the responsibility of border management and oil revenues to Baghdad.
For their part, the Kurds say that it was never their intention to immediately follow their vote of independence.
Former Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari said: "We conducted this referendum because we lost confidence. We were fighting from the position of the defender for a missing country. But independence does not happen automatically so we announce on the second day of the referendum. "It can not happen overnight."
"I do not think there will be military intervention, because first of all they do not have the military capability to do that," said Vahal Ali, communications director at the office of the regional president, Massoud Barzani.
"The truth is that neither side wants a military confrontation, and if things get worse, it's because of the dynamism of the event, not necessarily because Abadi wants it," said Joost Hiltermann, an expert on the Middle East Crisis Management Group, "so I do not think we're close to that point "He said.
What is happening behind the scenes, Western diplomats have made efforts to calm the spasm between the two parties to maintain the validity of the coalition against the organization of a preacher.
Diplomats have expressed optimism that the referendum crisis will not develop into military conflict at least until now. Last Friday, the Shiite cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani criticized the idea of an independent Kurdish state, calling for dialogue and Baghdad should respect the rights of the Kurds.
"While Sistani provided a suitable political atmosphere for Abadi to engage in a dialogue with Erbil, he also considered the separation of Kurdistan a red line that Baghdad can not overcome," wrote Randa Salem, a researcher at the Washington Institute for Middle East Studies. "This position gave hope to the parties and mitigated Tension between them.