Iran says land border with Iraqi Kurdistan remains open

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, February 17, 2015. (AFP)
Updated 25 September 2017
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Iran says land border with Iraqi Kurdistan remains open

TEHRAN: Iran's foreign ministry said Monday that its border with Iraqi Kurdistan remained open despite its independence referendum, reversing an earlier statement.
A statement by the ministry said: "The land border between Iran and the Kurdistan region of Iraq is open."
"For now, only air borders between Iran and this region are closed," it added.
That went against an earlier statement by foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi, who had told reporters: "At the request of the Iraqi government, we have closed our land and air borders."
Iran had already announced on Sunday that it was stopping all flights to and from Iraqi Kurdistan in response to the independence referendum.
The vote is "illegal and illegitimate," Ghasemi said.
President Hassan Rouhani spoke overnight with Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi, saying: "The Islamic republic of Iran fully supports the central government of Iraq."
The referendum went ahead on Monday despite strong opposition from Baghdad and its neighbours, as well as Western governments including the United States.
Iran fears the vote could encourage separatists in its own Kurdish region, and said last week that independence could mean an end to all of border and security arrangements.
Iranian security forces have faced regular attacks by militant Kurdish separatists, primarily based across the border in Iraqi Kurdistan.


EU must speed up efforts to save nuclear deal — Iran state TV

Updated 20 August 2018
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EU must speed up efforts to save nuclear deal — Iran state TV

  • ‘Iran relies mainly on its own capabilities to overcome America’s new sanctions’
  • The United States has imposed sanctions on Iran in August

ANKARA: Iran said on Monday that Europe should accelerate its efforts to salvage a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and major powers that was abandoned by US President Donald Trump in May, Iranian state TV reported.
“Europeans and other signatories of the deal (China and Russia) have been trying to save the deal ... but the process has been slow. It should be accelerated,” foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi told a weekly news conference broadcast live on state TV.
“Iran relies mainly on its own capabilities to overcome America’s new sanctions.”
European states have been scrambling to ensure Iran gets enough economic benefits to persuade it to stay in the deal since US withdrawal from the deal, which Trump said was “deeply flawed.”
The United States has imposed sanctions on Iran in August, targeting Iran’s trade in gold and other precious metals, its purchases of US dollars and its car industry.