21:07 GMT26 January 2020
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    Iraqi Kurdistan's Independence Referendum (53)
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    Earlier in the day, Iran's Tasnim news agency said Iran had closed its border with Iraqi Kurdistan. Tehran has refuted the report as false.

    "The border checkpoints with the Kurdistan region have not yet been closed, they are working as usual," a source in the Iranian Foreign Ministry told Sputnik on Sunday.

    Iran opposed the referendum on the independence of Iraqi Kurdistan conducted on September 25.

    Earlier in the day, a Tasnim report suggested that Iran, "considering the developments in Iraq's Kurdistan", has closed its Bashmagh border checkpoint.    

    According to the latest statement from Hemin Hawrami, the aide to the leader of the Kurdistan region Masoud Barzani, the region has rejected demands of Baghdad to cancel the outcome of the independence referendum, calling them "military threats" from Baghdad against Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, adding that Kurdish-controlled territory would be defended in the event of a potential attack. However, Iraqi Kurdistan renewed its offer to "peacefully" resolve the crisis that erupted as a result of the independence vote.

    More than 90 percent of voters backed Kurdish independence from Baghdad in a referendum held in Kurdistan and other de-facto Kurdish controlled areas of Iraq. Baghdad declared the referendum illegal, while Turkey and Iran criticized the vote amid fears that it might strengthen separatist feelings in their own ethnic Kurdish minorities.

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    Iraqi Kurdistan's Independence Referendum (53)
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    border checkpoints, border, independence referendum, Iraqi Kurdistan, Iran
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