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Secessionist moves in Iraq detrimental to security of region: Iran DM

Secessionist moves in Iraq detrimental to security of region: Iran DM

Iran and Turkey have resolved to work together to ease tension in the crisis-hit Middle East region.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is also due to visit Tehran tomorrow, where he is expected to discuss regional developments, counter-terrorism, and particularly the stance on the KRG's independence vote that took place on September 25.

Iran and Turkey, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member, overwhelmingly opposed the non-binding referendum vote, over fears the move could ignite independence movements by Kurdish populations in their own countries.

"The independence referendum in Iraq's Kurdistan is a sectarian plot by foreign countries and is rejected by Tehran and Ankara", Mr Rouhani said, "we will not accept a change of borders under any circumstance". But Kurdish leaders have said they will use it to press for negotiations on eventually forming their own state.

The results of Kurdish independence vote showed that the referendum would have "a lot of risks for the security of Iraq and the region", he was quoted as saying.

"The political, economic and global relations between Iran and Turkey are in a good position, but we should strive to advance military and defense cooperation consistent with other fields", Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday after his meeting with the Turkish top general.

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Iran has ordered a halt to all trade in fuel products with Iraqi Kurdistan and has said it will allow Iraqi federal forces to deploy at its border crossings with the region.

Erdoğan said the referendum had no legitimacy and had only been recognized by Israeli regime. "No one has recognised them apart from Israel".

Israel has denied Turkey's previous claims of involvement in the vote, but has welcomed the Kurds' vote for independence.

"Holding the referendum in Iraq's Kurdistan will help the Western-Zionist-Arab front supporting Takfiri terrorism achieve its objectives and is definitely in contradiction to the interests of the Iraqi people, particularly the Kurds", Shamkhani said.

Mr Rouhani also said that Tehran and Ankara are planning to expand their economic ties. Separately, Iraq also announced joint military exercises with Iran.

Speaking at a meeting with Akar in Tehran, Shamkhani said the KRG's approach to hold the independence vote was "irresponsible and amateur".

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