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Iran's leader warns implications of controversial vote in Iraq

Iran's leader warns implications of controversial vote in Iraq

Gen. Akar is also expected to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during his visit Monday, which comes days before Turkish President President Recep Tayyip Erdogan travels to Tehrani.

Relations have generally been cool between Shi'ite Iran and mainly Sunni Turkey, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member.

"A development of this sort will isolate the Kurdish regional government", Mr Erdogan warned. "Turkey, Iran and Iraq have no choice but to take serious and necessary measures to protect their strategic goals in the region", Reuters quoted Rouhani as saying.

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

Rouhani said: "Iran and Turkey, as two friendly, Muslim states, are the centerline of regional stability". In the fight against ISIS, the United States lent armed support to the Kurdish YPG (People's Protection Units) fighters in northern Syria, which shares a border with southern Turkey.

Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region said on Tuesday it was calling presidential and parliamentary elections for November 1.

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Erdoğan added that Turkey sees the central government in Baghdad as the only legitimate authority in Iraq and that Ankara will continue to intensify measures against KRG.

"Whatever name they give to it, we will fight against terrorism. As we have repeatedly stated we will never be the first party to violate the agreement", said the President adding that the Islamic Republic of Iran is fully committed to the nuclear accord. Iraq and Iran also announced joint military exercises.

He said Ankara and Tehran would not recognise the referendum. At a joint news conference with Rouhani, Turkish President repeated that the plebiscite had no legitimacy and had only been recognized by Israel.

The Turkish official claimed that the Kurdish officials conducted the referendum after negotiating with the intelligence agency of the Israeli regime.

The two governments fear the secession of Iraq's Kurds would stoke separatist sentiment among their own large Kurdish minorities and are eager to work together with the federal government in Baghdad to block it. He also said that de-escalation zones were very important for Turkey. During the period, Iran's exports to Turkey amounted to $5.15 billion, while imports from the country reached $2.1 billion.


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