TEHRAN, July 6 (Xinhua) -- Iran will never allow any plan aimed at disintegrating Iraq and separating parts of the country to take place, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Sunday.
Amir-Abdollahian blamed Israel for what he called its pushes for "disintegration plans" in Iraq, saying that "talking of breaking Iraq up is a Zionist plan," according to Al-Alam Arabic language satellite TV channel.
"We will never allow (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu's dreams to disintegrate Iraq and our region, the important and sensitive part of eastern Asia, to come true," the Iranian Foreign Ministry official was quoted as saying.
The Islamic republic is against any attempt to separate parts of Iraq, he said, adding that separation is "against Iraq's constitution... and is in nobody's interest."
Iran has talked this "openly" to Iraq's Kurdish leaders and " Kurdistan's independence will return Kurdistan to decades ago," he said, alluding to the recent words of the president of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region who asked its parliament to plan a referendum on Kurdish independence.
As for the election of the next prime minister in Iraq, Amir- Abdollahian told Al-Alam that if the incumbent premier Nuri al- Maliki is re-elected, "we will back him strongly."
"If another person is elected as the prime minister by the Iraqi parliament, the Islamic republic will also support him, since this is totally an internal affair of Iraq," he said.
The Iraqi parliament is to convene next week to elect the prime minister. Despite criticisms leveled at Nuri al-Maliki, even by other Shiite groups within the Iraqi community, he has vowed not to quit his bid for the post which is at his disposal since 2006.
Iranian officials have said if Iran is asked, they will help the Shiite-led government with military advice and military assistance against the advancements of the Sunni militants.