The move comes after the U.S. announces it will arm and train a Kurdish force to police Syria’s borders to ensure Islamic State does not re-emerge.
First, the region's independence vote was ordered annulled by Iraq's prime minister. Now, Barzani has announced he will not run for re-election.
The Kurds' leader, Massoud Barzani, had offered to suspend the results of the recent independence vote, but Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi is playing hardball.
Across the United States, Europe and the Middle East, unitary states are splintering under the leadership of divisive nationalist demagogues.
Meanwhile, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the foremost Iraqi clerical leader, asks his government to protect Kurdish civilians.
On Sunday night, artillery duels broke out between Iraqi army forces and Kurdish Peshmerga paramilitary personnel to the south of the city of Kirkuk.
A recent referendum is seen as a wake-up call to Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria that the longtime issue must be addressed.