Iraqi court says claims that planned Sept. 25 vote is unconstitutional must be heard first.

The Supreme Court on Monday ruled to suspend the planned Kurdish independence referendum in northern Iraq, a court official said.

There was no immediate response from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) on the decision but it has previously defied protestations from Baghdad about the legality of the Sept. 25 vote.

Iyas Samuk, a spokesman for the court, said the court had ordered the suspension of all activities related to the referendum until complaints claiming the vote would be unconstitutional have been heard.

Turkey, the U.S., Iran and the UN have all joined Baghdad in speaking out against the poll planned for the Kurdish-controlled areas of northern Iraq, saying the vote would distract from operations against Daesh and lead to greater instability in the region.

KRG President Masoud Barzani has said a “yes” vote would not initiate a declaration of independence but would led to negotiations with Baghdad.

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