ANKARA, Oct 15 (Reuters) – Iran has closed its border gates
with northern Iraq in response to an independence referendum in
Iraq’s Kurdish region last month, Iran’s Tasnim news agency
reported on Sunday.
“Considering the developments in Iraq’s Kurdistan, Iran has
closed its Bashmagh border gate with Iraq’s Kurdistan,” Tasnim
said without giving an official source.
Iran last month halted flights to and from Kurdish regions
in northern Iraq after the independence referendum by the
autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Tehran also
carried out wargames at the Kurdish border in September.
Tehran fears the spread of separatism to its own Kurdish
population, which is around eight million. Iran backs Shi‘ite
groups who have been ruling or holding key security and
government positions in Iraq since the 2003 U.S-led invasion
which toppled Saddam Hussein.
(Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Janet Lawrence)