World Bulletin / News Desk
Iran on Tuesday reopened three of its border crossings with northern Iraq’s Kurdish region -- at Baghdad’s request -- after some two and a half months of closure, according to a local customs official.
“The Parwezkhan, Haji Omaran and Sayran Ban crossings have all been reopened to human and commercial traffic,” Masud Bateli, director of the Iraqi side of the Haji Omaran crossing, told reporters.
According to Bateli, operations at the three crossings have now fully resumed.
Iran closed the three border terminals last October at the request of the Iraqi government after tensions erupted between Baghdad and the Erbil-based Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) following an illegitimate referendum held by the latter on regional independence.
Iran maintains a total of four border crossings with Iraq’s Kurdish region: the Haji Omaran crossing in Iraq’s Erbil province, and the Parwezkhan, Bashmaq and Sayran Ban crossings in Sulaymaniyah province.
On Monday, Ihsan al-Shamri, an adviser to Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, announced that the KRG had handed control of all the Kurdish region’s border crossings with Turkey and Iran over to Iraqi federal authorities.
The KRG’s illegitimate Sept. 25 referendum had faced stiff opposition from most regional and international actors, including the U.S., Turkey and Iran, who had warned it would destabilize the already-volatile region.