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Iran to reopen border crossings with Iraq's Kurdish region

Iran closed its border with Iraq's Kurdish region after the independence vote [Getty]

Date of publication: 31 October, 2017

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Iran is set to reopen its border crossings with Iraq's Kurdistan region, imposed after Kurds voted overwhelmingly in favour of independence last month.
Iran will reopen all its border crossings with Iraq's Kurdish region in the coming days, its chief of staff has announced, lifting restrictions imposed after a Kurdish vote for independence.

"Border restrictions between Iran and Iraq's Kurdish region will be lifted in coming days," Iran's Chief of Staff Major General Mohammad Baqeri was quoted as saying by semi-official news agency ISNA.

The announcement comes after Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani said he would give up his presidency on November 1, after the independence referendum he pushed for backfired and triggered military action by Baghdad.

Iraqi troops were ordered by the country's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to seize disputed areas claimed by both Baghdad and the Kurdish government.

Iran, fearing the vote would inflame the separatist aspirations of their own sizable Kurdish population, strongly opposed independence and at the request of Baghdad closed its borders in northern Iraq and halted all flights there and back.

Tehran already reopened the Bashmagh crossing last week.

 
 

Baqeri also said if Kurdistan implemented its plan to break away from Iraq, "there would be bloodshed in Iraq and neighbouring countries would be affected".

Iraq on Tuesday took over control of the Ibrahim Khalil border crossing from the Kurds after Baghdad and Turkish troops reached the northern frontier.

The Iraq Report is a weekly feature at The New Arab.

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