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 Iran cuts economic, trade ties with Iraqi Kurdistan 

 Source : FNA | AP | AFP
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Iran cuts economic, trade ties with Iraqi Kurdistan  26.9.2007

September 26, 2007

Kermanshah, Iran,-- Following the arrest of an Iranian smuggler 'businessman' and lack of efforts to release him within the specified deadline, all economic and trade relations with the Iraqi Kurdistan have been cut, an Iranian official in the border province of Kermanshah said.

Iran on Monday closed its border with Iraq's Kurdistan region in protest at the arrest of an Iranian by the US military.

The US military seized Mahmudi Farhadi from a hotel in Kurdish province of Sulaimaniyah on Thursday, charging that he was an officer in the covert operations arm of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards and accused him of helping to smuggle a deadly type of roadside bomb into Iraq.

Director of the public relations of Kermanshah governorate, Seyed Mohammad Jafar Imamian told FNA on Tuesday that the Iranian detainee Mahmoud Farhadi, who is a member of the governorate's economic team, had gone to Sulaimaniyah city at the invitation of Kurdistan officials.     

Trucks cross the Iranian-Iraqi Kurdistan region border at the Kurdistan crossing point of Bashmakh in March 2007

"The dispatched delegation was in Sulaimaniyah to help resolve the issues of the Iraqi Kurdistan, Sulaimaniyah in particular, when they were arrested during a nightly raid," Imamian said.

He said when talks about the release of Farhadi proved to be fruitless, all the governors of Iran's western provinces, in a coordinated action, have suspended all their border exchanges with Kurdistan province and sealed off the two sides' shared borders.

The official further warned Iraq about the negative consequences of Farhadi's detention, and called on the central government in Baghdad to continue its pressures on the US troops until Farhadi is released.

"Otherwise, Americans and Iraqi officials should account for the grave consequences and problems" which will arise, he concluded.

Economic analyst Mohammed Salman of the University of Erbil warned that people on both sides of the frontier would be affected.

FNA | AP | AFP   


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