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Spokesman: Iran Closes Borders with Kurdistan to Respect Iraqi Govt’s Sovereignty

4 October 2017 11:00

 

Iranian Government Spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht underlined that the country has closed its borders and airspace to the Iraqi Kurdistan region after the independence referendum to respect the Iraqi government’s sovereignty.

Closure of borders was put into effect to respect the “important issue of the Iraqi government’s sovereignty right which is highly important to Iran”, Nobakht told reporters in Tehran on Tuesday.

Expressing concern that certain parts of Syria and Iraq are still controlled by the terrorists, he said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran doesn’t confirm anything which distorts solidarity in the fight against the terrorists.”

Nobakht stressed that the closure of the borders with the Iraqi Kurdistan region is a problem which will be resolved in a short period of time.

In defiance of Iraq’s stiff opposition, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) held a non-binding referendum on September 25 on secession from the central government in Baghdad.

Official results showed 92.73 percent of voters backed the secession. Turnout was put at 72.61 percent.

While much of the international community, including the United Nations, the European Union and Iraq’s neighbors, has opposed the referendum, only Israel has openly supported an independent Kurdish state.

Regional players Iran and Turkey have opposed the Kurdish referendum in Iraq, warning that the controversial vote could lead to further instability in the entire Middle East.

Last Wednesday, Iran ordered its state and private sector companies to ban cargoes of fuel products heading to or coming from the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.

Due to the recent developments in the region, and under an order by the General Office of Border Affairs and Civil Defense, the international shipping companies and the drivers are banned from loading and shipping fuel products from or to the Iraqi Kurdistan Region until further notice, a circular by Iran Road Maintenance and Transportation Organization read.

The organization has communicated the order to all the related companies since Wednesday, September 27.

Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani had noted on Wednesday that more sanctions will be imposed on Kurds in Iraq after closing the country’s airspace to the Iraqi Kurdistan region.

“Mr. Shamkhani believed that trilateral negotiations among Iran, Iraq and Turkey will continue concurrent with talks with the Kurdistan region’s groups and parties, and boycott pressures will be exerted too,” Jabbar Khouchakinejad, an Iranian legislator, quoted Shamkhani as saying in a private session at the parliament on Wednesday.

According to the MP, Shamkhani stressed that different measures will be adopted to make the Kurds withdraw from their stances and the Iraqi government can even resort to military action because this separatism has happened in Iraq and the referendum has been against the Iraqi constitution, he added.

“The SNSC secretary also emphasized that Iran will support the Iraqi government’s measures,” Kouchakinejad said.

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