TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - “Following Iraqi central government’s request, all of Iran’s flights to Sulaymaniyah and Erbil and all flights passing Iranian airspace originating from Iraq’s Kurdistan Region were stepped,” said Spokesman of the council Keiwan Khosravi.
The council held a meeting on Sunday to investigate Iraq’s request to block airspace with Kurdistan.
He said that cancelling the flights came since Iran’s well-wishing political efforts could not dissuade Kurdistan from holding the referendum and also due to Iraqi government’s request.
Khosravi said all of Iran’s flights to airports of Kurdistan have also been canceled.
Last Thursday, Iran, Iraq and Turkey voiced concerns over a planned secession referendum in the northern Iraqi Kurdistan region, warning that the unconstitutional vote could fan the flames of tensions in the Middle East.
Foreign ministers of Iran, Iraq and Turkey, namely Mohammad Javad Zarif, Ibrahim al-Ja’afari and Mevlut Cavusoglu made the remarks in a joint statement issued Thursday following a meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York.
The statement expressed opposition to the planned referendum, warning that the move will jeopardize Iraq’s campaign against Daesh Takfiri terrorists and will lead to new conflicts across the already troubled region.
The three neighboring states also called on the Iraqi Kurdish leaders to refrain from holding the vote and underlined the need for dialog between Baghdad and Arbil to resolve the issue.
The statement also called for efforts to protect Iraq’s sovereignty and national unity.