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The New Arab

Iran reopens all border crossings with Iraq's Kurdish region

Last month, the Iraqi supreme court ruled the vote to be "unconstitutional" [AFP]

Date of publication: 18 December, 2017

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Tehran's border restrictions on Iraqi-Kurdistan following Erbil's vote for independence have been lifted, with Iran reopening all its crossings.

Iran has reopened all its border crossings with Iraqi-Kurdistan, a foreign ministry spokesman announced on Monday, lifting restrictions imposed after Erbil's vote for independence.

Bahram Ghassemi said the two frontier crossings of Haji Omran and Parwezkhan had been reopened, without giving a specific date.

The announcement comes after Iraqi-Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani gave up his presidency on 1 November, 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. At the request of Baghdad it closed its borders in northern Iraq and halted all flights there and back.

Turkey, who also has a Kurdish community, opposed the referendum. Last month, the Iraqi supreme court ruled the vote to be "unconstitutional".

Tehran already reopened the Bashmagh crossing in October. 

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