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As for a split between Iraq and the Kurdish region, negotiations are always a possibility says Michael Stephens, a research fellow for Middle East Studies at the Royal United Services Institute. But not for now, he says. "If Abadi looks soft on the Kurdish issue, he'll be finished," Mr. Stephens adds. "Now, it's a waiting game with Iraq, Turkey and Iran each piling on pressure. "Everyone is waiting for someone else to make the first move. I think they're all stalling for time," Mr. Stephens says.