Iraq's parliament demanded Monday that troops be sent to disputed areas in the north controlled by the Kurds since 2003 as the autonomous Kurdish area staged a referendum on independence.
Kurdish leaders say if Iraq's Kurdish region votes "Yes", it'll give them a mandate to negotiate secession from Iraq. "The moment we close the tap, then it's done".
Iran has a large Kurdish minority around its Iraqi border, some of whom have called for independence.
"We will take those steps with regard to air space, and how the border gates will be governed", he said.
The Iraqi army started "major maneuvers" with the Turkish army at the border, the Iraqi defense ministry said, outlining coordinated measures by the two countries against the Kurds in retaliation for the referendum.
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The Habur border crossing, which sits to the north of the Syrian and Iraqi borders, provides the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq with its main access point to the outside world.
"With the request of Iraq's central government, all Iranian flights to Sulaimaniyah and Erbil as well as flights passing through our airspace to the Kurdistan region have been suspended", said Kayvan Khosravi, the spokesman for Iran's Supreme National Security Council, on September 24.
However, KRG President Masoud Barzani defended the non-binding vote, saying only through the referendum can Kurds secure their future. "Discrimination between Iraqi citizens on the nationalist and ethnic foundation exposes Iraq to dangers known only by God", al-Abadi said from Baghdad.
He however said the vote was "not for defining borders or imposing a fait accompli".
Canadian officials have said they support a united Iraq, but otherwise refuse to comment on whether the referendum should be held or how Canada will react to an independence vote.
Opposition to the vote emerged among non-Kurdish populations in areas disputed by the KRG and Baghdad, mainly the oil-rich region of Kirkuk.