Iran Closes Main Crossing with Iraq's Kurdish Region

Published October 15th, 2017 - 11:09 GMT
Iran has three main crossings with the Kurdish region; Haji Omaran (in Erbil Province), Parwezkhan, and Bashmaq (AFP/File)
Iran has three main crossings with the Kurdish region; Haji Omaran (in Erbil Province), Parwezkhan, and Bashmaq (AFP/File)

Iran on Sunday shut a main border crossing with northern Iraq’s Kurdish region amid tension over last month’s independence referendum.

“Iranian authorities have closed the crossing near al-Sulaimaniyah province,” Ali Tawfiq, director of the terminal, told reporters.

He said no reason has been cited for the Iranian move.

“The closure has halted the movement of goods and people into and from the Kurdish region,” Tawfiq added.

Iran has three main crossings with the Kurdish region; Haji Omaran (in Erbil Province), Parwezkhan, and Bashmaq.

On Sept. 25, Iraqis in areas held by the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) -- and in several areas disputed between Baghdad and Erbil -- voted on whether or not to declare independence from Iraq.

According to results announced by the KRG, almost 93 percent of those who cast ballots voted in favor of independence.

The referendum had faced sharp opposition from most regional and international actors (including the U.S., Turkey, and Iran), who had warned that the poll would distract from Iraq’s ongoing fight against terrorism and further destabilize the region.

In the immediate aftermath of the referendum, Baghdad banned international flights from entering KRG-controlled areas and closed all foreign diplomatic missions based in the Kurdish region.

Last month, Iranian authorities announced the closure of its airspace with the Kurdish region at a request from the Iraqi government.

 

 

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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