Iran Urges Iraqi Kurdish Leaders to Fix Mistakes

Aaron Brown
October 5, 2017

Iran and Turkey should prevent Iraq's Kurdistan region from declaring independence, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday after meeting Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Tehran, state TV reported.

Iraq's Kurdistan region held a controversial referendum on independence in late September.

Reacting on the Kurdish referendum, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey Turkish President said that more decisive action is needed.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will welcome him officially at the Sadabad complex later in the day.

However, he did not specifically mention the steps that Ankara would take.

Turkey threatened to close its land border and halt the export of oil from Iraqi Kurdistan to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, an economic lifeline.

Erdoğan said the referendum had no legitimacy and had only been recognized by Israeli regime. No one recognises you other than Israel.

Fortunately, today the problems of the region are declining and that terrorist groups operating in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon have been weakened so much, said Rouhani continuing: "We must all work together and join hands to combat terrorism, because it is a threat to the whole world".

Speaking on the issue, Mr. Rouhani declared his opposition to Kurdish independence.

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Mr Rouhani also said that Tehran and Ankara are planning to expand their economic ties.

Turkey already has several thousand ground forces stationed in northern Syria and Erdogan has stated he will not accept a Kurdish state along his borders.

Kurdish referendum is a foreign sectarian plot, he added.

Almost 93 percent of Iraqi Kurds on September 25 voted in a non-binding plebiscite in favor of creating an independent state. The 7.27 percent of votes were against independence, while the null votes represented 1.21 percent.

"We, as Iran and Turkey, have made firm decisions and it is open to everybody", Erdogan said, adding that "We only recognize the central government in Baghdad".

Iran and Turkey have been rivals for centuries but have recently sought to forge a pragmatic relationship, with the Islamic Republic strongly supporting Erdogan after last year's failed coup. Iraq and Iran also announced joint military exercises.

Iran and Turkey signed four agreements on Wednesday to promote cooperation in various areas.

After 1979 Islamic Revolution, for the first time, Military Chief of Turkey visited Iran on Monday.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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