Erdogan And Rouhani Threaten Sanctions Against Iraqi Kurdistan

Iran's state TV is reporting the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is visiting Iran as Tehran and Ankara weigh how to respond to the Kurdish independence referendum in Iraq.

An official in Iraq's Kurdish region said that Iraqi and Iranian units began exercises at 11 a.m. local time "only 250 meters from the border".

The president also said: "Regarding relations between the two countries in the field of investment, the Islamic Republic of Iran announced that it would provide facilities for Turkish investors, especially in the fields of petrochemicals, tourism, infrastructure and transportation". President Erdogan will meet with Iranian religious leader Ali Khamenei and President Hasan spiritual.

Talking about the further course of action, he said that Turkey and Iran will confront threats which attempt to disintegrate Iraq and Syria.

In addition to northern Iraq, the crisis in Syria is expected to be discussed.

Iran and Turkey on Monday said they were stepping up military cooperation, including large-scale war games and counterterrorismoperations, in the wake of Iraqi Kurdistan's historic independence referendum vote.

Turkey and Iran both have a sizeable Kurdish community and fear last week's vote will encourage their own Kurdish populations to do the same.

Iraqi soldiers also took part in a Turkish military drill close to Iraq's frontier last week.

Baghdad imposed a ban on all global flights to Kurdish airports on Friday, while Tehran has ordered a halt to all trade in fuel products with Iraqi Kurdistan.

"Co-operation between Iran, Turkey and Iraq can create stability and security in the region and block moves for secession", Iranian defence minister Gen Amir Hatami said as he held talks with Gen Akar on Tuesday. "With a 350-kilometer border in the north with Turkey, Iran along its east, the central government to its south and Syria to its west, what is the KRG holding the referendum on?"

Iranian armed forces spokesman Masoud Jazayeri said the decision to carry out the drills followed a high-level meeting of Iranian commanders where "the territorial integrity and unity of Iraq and the illegitimacy of the independence referendum in northern Iraq were stressed again".

Kurdish referendum is a foreign sectarian plot, he added.

  • Rogelio Becker