Iran temporary bans its companies transporting petroleum from Iraqi Kurdistan

Kurds demonstrate for independence in Iraq

Iran temporary bans its companies transporting petroleum from Iraqi Kurdistan

The Kurdish referendum on support for independence from Iraq passed with more than 92 percent of voters approving the move, the Kurdish region's election commission told a news conference on Wednesday.

Earlier, the United States said it would be willing to help facilitate conversations between Iraqi Kurds and Baghdad in an attempt to ease tensions between the two sides after a controversial Kurdish referendum vote.

"The joint maneuver, [dubbed] Eqtedar (Strength), will be held by Iran's Armed Forces and units of the Iraqi army along the two countries' joint borders", Deputy Chief of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri said on Saturday.

Iraqi troops now in Turkey and Iran were expected to start enforcing control over the border crossings out of the Kurdish region on Saturday morning.

Following the referendum, Turkey and Iraq launched a joint military exercise on the Turkish-Iraqi border in Silopi district of Sirnak province.

Iraqi Kurdistan is facing huge pressure after Iran announced on Saturday an embargo on exports and imports of fuel products to and from the region.

A map of where the Kurdish populace lives across Syria Iraq Iran and Turkey
Iran temporary bans its companies transporting petroleum from Iraqi Kurdistan

"We urge the Kurdish authorities to respect the role by constitutional mandate of the central government, and we call on the central government to reject threats and mentions of possible use of force", the United States government added.

"This involves border claims, military action directed against (Iraqi city) Kirkuk and the pressure on airlines to cease operations into the Kurdistan Regional Government".

A no-fly zone, imposed by the United States after the 1991 Persian Gulf War and a failed Kurdish uprising, protected the Kurds for years in northern Iraq. He urged both sides to reject the use of force and engage in dialogue, and to remain focused on the fight against the Islamic State, which he said was "not over".

Also yesterday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Turkey has agreed to deal only with Baghdad on oil exports from the self-ruled Kurdish region.

Earlier on Friday, a ban imposed by Iraq's central government on worldwide flights to Kurdistan went into effect after the KRG rejected a demand to hand over control of its global airports in Erbil and Sulaimaniya.

NFL players defy Donald Trump order to stand during national anthem
Bale missing from Real Madrid squad for Espanyol clash