Iraqi Kurdistan said Iran had reopened its border crossings with northern Iraq after closing them last month due to prevailing insecurities. “After long negotiations between us and them, the border crossings were opened,” Nechirvan Barzani, prime minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government, said in comments aired by al-Jazeera on Sunday that were dubbed into Arabic.
It is also said that the closing of the borders was a consequence of the abduction and continued detention of an Iranian trade official by the US troops.
“There was no excuse for the detention of the Iranian man by the Americans, especially since he was invited by the province of Sulaimanya,” Barzani said.
Barzani also said his government was doing its best to stop Kurdish rebels of the PJAK, which seeks autonomy for Kurdish areas in Iran and shelters in Iraq’s northeastern border provinces, from using its territory as a springboard for attacks on the Islamic Republic.
“Our principle as the government of the Kurdish province and the government of Iraq, we are agreed … that the territory of Iraqi Kurdistan or Iraq should not be used for any attacks on neighboring countries, whether Iran or Turkey or any other country,” he said.
“We are agreed on this principle and we will make efforts to prevent our territory from being used for any assault on Iran.”