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Iran To Reopen Border With Iraq's Kurdistan Region
31 October 2017, 12:40 | Katrina Lee
Masoud Barzani's resignation leads to Kurdish infighting
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is calling for calm and respect for the law after Barzani's announcement.
The statement appeared to reflect a USA belief that the departure of Barzani, whose September 25 independence referendum is widely seen has having backfired, may make it easier for the two main Kurdish factions to work together and to negotiate with the federal government led by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
As MPs discussed the request for his powers to be dissolved dozens of his Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) supporters stormed the building, attacking politicians from opposition parties and journalists until police arrived at the scene.
A Kurdish official on the Syrian side of the border said access for aid workers and journalists has not been affected.
Despite warnings from Baghdad, the United States, Turkey, Iran, the United Nations and others, the vote was held on September 25 in the three provinces that make up the autonomous Kurdish zone as well as in disputed territories claimed by Baghdad, but at the time held by Kurdish forces.
Last week, government forces moved into several parts of Iraq disputed between Baghdad and the KRG, including the oil-rich Kirkuk province.
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Mr Abadi said on Monday the central government was closely monitoring the "attempts to create chaos and disorder" in Irbil and Dohuk.
He also informed parliament that he will not seek an extension of his term, which is set to expire November 1, but Barzani's senior assistant, Hemin Hawrami said the move did not mean the Kurdish leader was "stepping down".
The region has become increasingly isolated as neighbouring Turkey threatened the use of military force and Ankara as well as Tehran closed their borders to the land-locked area.
"Border restrictions between Iran and Iraq's Kurdish region will be lifted in coming days", Iran's chief of staff Major General Mohammad Baqeri was quoted as saying by the Isna news agency.
The Baghdad-based Communication and Media Commission accused the two networks of "inciting violence and hatred". The development comes roughly six weeks after Iraqi Kurds voted on a controversial independence referendum that Mr. Barzani had championed. The PUK supported the vote half-heartedly.
After Saddam's fall, Mr Barzani ran the Kurdish autonomous region while Talabani served as ceremonial president of all of Iraq in Baghdad from 2005 to 2014.
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