"Iraq is effectively partitioned now; should we stay in this tragic situation that Iraq is living? Of course, we are all with our Arab and Sunni brothers together in this crisis, but that doesn't mean that we will abandon our goal. I have said many times that independence is a natural right of the people of Kurdistan. All these developments reaffirm that."
After meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry last month, Barzani said it was "very difficult" to picture Iraq remaining a single, united state.
Iraq, formed by borders assigned by the British nearly a century ago, now includes Kurdistan in the north, a Shiite minority in the south, and territory controlled by militant Sunnis of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria between them.