Iran insists land border with Iraqi-Kurdistan is 'still open'

Iraqi Kurds headed to the polls September 25 to vote on an independence referendum despite continued strong opposition from neighboring Turkey and Iran, the broader worldwide community and the Iraqi central government in Baghdad.

The vote was held peacefully, but the coming days could bring escalating unrest as the Kurds press ahead toward independence, something opposed by virtually the entire worldwide community, including their close ally, the United States.

The Kurdish referendum was preceded by a flurry of diplomatic contacts and phone calls.

The conflict has been largely peaceful until now, but in recent days both sides have threatened to use military force to protect their interests.

"After the defeat of Daesh [terrorist group] in Syria and Iraq, Kurdistan's referendum will result in escalation of tensions and crisis in the region", Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi, a top military advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, said on Monday.

In Kirkuk, authorities declared a curfew an hour and a half before polls closed as jubilant Kurds started to celebrate.

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Iran has a Kurdish population, but they have not experienced the same level of violence as Kurds in Turkey and Syria have in recent years.

"After this, let's see through which channels the northern Iraqi regional government will send its oil, or where it will sell it", Erdogan said in Istanbul. We have the valve.

Iran has a large Kurdish minority around its Iraqi border, some of whom have called for independence. "The moment we close the tap, then it's done".

The article also noted that ahead of the vote, a number of Kurdish demonstrators had carried the Israeli flag alongside the Kurdish flag in northern Iraq.

The Kurdish mission reaffirmed the holding of the consultation and that dialogue with the central government will take place after the elections. Al-Maliki went further than al-Abadi in his condemnation of the referendum, calling it a "declaration of war".

However, many observers view the vote in line with a long-pursued Israeli-US agenda to partition regional states. When parliament convened earlier this month, for the first time in two years, almost half the lawmakers boycotted the session.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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