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Iran reacts to Kurdish referendum

The Iraqi Kurdistan referendum on independence received top coverage in Iranian media, drawing condemnation from both sides of Iran's political sphere.

Iraqi Kurds headed to the polls Sept. 25 to vote on an independence referendum despite continued strong opposition from neighboring Turkey and Iran, the broader international community and the Iraqi central government in Baghdad. Iran had long made its opposition to the referendum known, although how exactly Tehran would respond remained in doubt. It seems that the first step has been taken with the closing of Iranian airspace to the Iraqi Kurdistan region.

“With the request of Iraq’s central government, all Iranian flights to Sulaimaniyah and Erbil as well as flights passing through our airspace to the Kurdistan region have been suspended,” said Kayvan Khosravi, the spokesman for Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, on Sept. 24. He said the council had held a special meeting on the referendum and Baghdad's request.

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