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

Iran insists land border with Iraqi-Kurdistan is 'still open'
Iran has said a land crossing with Kurdish regions in Iraq remains open, despite earlier claims it was closed in response to Monday's controversial independence referendum.
1 min read
25 September, 2017
Iran announced on Sunday that it had closed 'air borders' to Iraqi Kurdistan [Anadolu]
Iran's foreign ministry has insisted that its border with Iraqi-Kurdistan remains open, reversing an earlier claim that stated the crossing has been closed.

"The land border between Iran and the Kurdistan region of Iraq is open," the ministry said in a statement.

"For now, only air borders between Iran and this region are closed," it added.

The latest statement corrects an earlier one given by foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi.

"At the request of the Iraqi government, we have closed our land and air borders," he said.

It followed reports on Sunday evening that Tehran had ordered all flights to and from Iraqi Kurdistan to be halted in response to the independence referendum.

Iran has a large Kurdish minority around its Iraqi border, some of whom have called for independence.

Tehran is also a firm backer of the Iraqi government and the Hashd al-Shabi militia alliance, which has been positioned around territories disputed by Baghdad and Erbil.