Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), is making a secret visit to Kurdistan to warn local officials not to hold a referendum on independence, an Iranian political source was quoted as saying on Wednesday. Soleimani is said to be conveying a "final warning" from Tehran. He reportedly has already met with Kurdish President Massoud Marzani in Irbil. The Quds force is responsible for IRGC military operations outside Iran.
Iraq's parliament on Tuesday rejected the referendum and authorized the prime minister to take all measures required to maintain national unity.