BAGHDAD: Iraq’s supreme court on Monday declared that September’s referendum on independence in the autonomous Kurdish areas in the north of the country was unconstitutional. A statement said the court “rendered a decision declaring unconstitutional the referendum held on September 25, 2017 in Iraqi Kurdistan… and canceling all the consequences and results that resulted.” Monday’s legal move was the latest stage in a crisis sparked by the referendum, which resulted in a resounding “yes” vote for independence in the Kurdish area. Last month, the UN Security Council urged the Iraqi government and regional leaders in Kurdistan to set a timetable for talks to end the crisis. The world body’s appeal came after Baghdad dismissed an offer from Iraqi Kurdish leaders to freeze the outcome of the referendum and hold talks. Rejecting the freeze offer, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi instead demanded the annulment of the independence vote.