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Iran reopens two crossings with Iraq's Kurdish region

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

Date of publication: 2 January, 2018

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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 re-opened two crossings with the Iraqi Kurdistan region on Tuesday, lifting restrictions imposed after Erbil's vote for independence.

"Tamarchin and Parviz Khan border crossings with Erbil and Sulaymaniyah that have been closed off by the formal request of Iraqi government, were opened on Thursday," news agency ISNA quoted the consulate of the Islamic republic in Erbil as saying.

Earlier in the month, Bahram Ghassemi, a foreign ministry spokesman, said the two frontier crossings of Haji Omran and Parwezkhan had been reopened.

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

Turkey, which 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. 

Iran shares four international border crossings between it and the Kurdistan region: Haji Omaran, Parwezkhan, Bashmaq and Savran Ban. 

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

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