Despite claims to stay ‘eternal friend of Kurds’, Iran reportedly temporary banned its companies transporting petroleum products from Iraqi Kurdistan.
Earlier in the week, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stated that Iran would remain an eternal friend of Kurds despite their recent vote to split from Iraq.
Iran is the only country with a large proportion of Kurdish population which manages to cultivate decent relations with them. With Iraqi Kurds Tehran has a long-standing relationship which has deepened after 2014 when Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps started to back Kurdish Peshmerga’s efforts to counter Daesh.
Zarif predicted the Monday referendum, in which 92 percent of 3.4 million people in northern Iraq’s three main Kurdish provinces and in multi-ethnic Kirkuk region voted to have a separate nation state, would have consequences that would not be limited to Iraqi Kurdistan.
Iran and Turkey criticized the referendum amid fears it might strengthen separatist feelings in their own ethnic Kurdish minorities. The United Nations and the United States also decried the Iraqi Kurdish authorities for potentially destabilizing the region. Baghdad has called the vote illegal and has refused to engage in a dialogue with Kurdish leaders.