Iran puts economic squeeze on Iraqi Kurds

Iraq Set To Impose Flight Ban On Kurdistan In Row Over Independence

The Iraqi government on Friday suspended global flights to and from the autonomous region of Kurdistan in response to the referendum - held in defiance of Baghdad - that saw the Kurds vote in favour of independence.

Earlier, the U.S. said it would be willing to help facilitate conversations between Iraqi Kurds and Baghdad in an attempt to ease tensions between the two sides after a controversial Kurdish referendum vote.

The exercises will be conducted at the level of at least four crossing points iranian side of the border, " he said, after a meeting of commanders in iran.

USA officials on Friday declared that the independence referendum was illegitimate.

Iran, which borders Iraq and the autonomous Kurdish region, strongly opposed the vote held on Monday, fearing it would provoke separatists among its own Kurdish population.

Iraqi forces were also deployed on the border with Turkey as part of a joint exercise with Turkish troops.

The United States does not recognize the independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan U.S.




"This meeting was in line with Iran's declared policies of respect for the integrity and preservation of the territorial integrity of Iraq and the request by the Iraqi government for Iran's cooperation for the establishment of central government authority on Iran-Iraq border terminals", the spokesman added.

Other countries, including Iraq's neighbors, as well as the global community have also voiced concerns over the repercussions of the vote during which some separatists carried Israeli flags. But Tillerson's sharp statement indicated that the United States, despite its strong alliance with the Kurds, would not offer any.

Iraq's top Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani also voiced opposition to the referendum, warning of the negative repercussions of such "unilateral steps".

The initial result announced by the Independent High Elections and Referendum Commission (IHERC) revealed 92.7 per cent of people had voted in favour of independence.

Iran, Turkey and Syria rejected this week's symbolic referendum, in which Iraq's Kurds voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence.

It thanked Ayatollah Sistani for his stances on the need for safeguarding Iraq's national unity and constitutional rule.

Kurdish leaders have said that would not automatically trigger a declaration of independence, but rather give them a mandate to start negotiations on secession with the central government in Baghdad and with neighbouring countries.

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