Iran announces decision to reopen crossings into Kurdistan Region

Rudaw– Iran will reopen major border crossings with the Kurdistan Region which had been shut by Tehran since mid-October.

Iranian Interior Minister Abdulraza Rahmani Fazli announced on Sunday that from henceforward the decision on reopening Haji Omaran and Parvezkhan crossings will take effect.

Iran on October 15 shut the three border-crossings of Haji Omaran, Parvezkhana and Bashmakh. Ten days later, it opened Bashmakh.

Jawhar Mohammed, head of the Haji Omeran crossing for the Kurdistan Region told Rudaw that Iran had long made the decision to reopen the gates, but their decisions were not implemented.

Iran also became the first country to close its air space to flights in and out of Kurdistan the day before the September 25 referendum at the request of the Iraqi government. The measure did not affect the three land borders Iran has with Kurdistan.

Iran had also closed the land crossings for a short time on October 2 when Iraqi and Iranian security forces conducted a joint military drill on the Kurdistan Region borders.

The Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Khamenei told Abadi in June that the Islamic Republic “opposed to some murmurs to holding a referendum to separate part of Iraq…”

In measures proposed in the wake of Kurdistan’s independence referendum, Baghdad has stated that they want all border points currently controlled by the Kurds, including the airports, to come under the direct control of Iraqi federal authorities. Such demands are rejected by the KRG.

Turkey’s major crossing with the Kurdistan Region, Habur gate, has remained open and Kurdish security control their side, named Ibrahim Khalil.