Iran bans oil refinery products traffic with Iraqi Kurdistan: report

ANKARA (Reuters) - Iran has banned the transportation of refined crude oil products by Iranian companies to and from Iraq’s Kurdistan region, the semi-official Tasnim news agency said on Friday, after Tehran vowed to stand by Baghdad following the region’s vote for independence.

“A directive by the Road and Transportation Organization has temporarily banned carrying oil products from Iran to Iraq’s Kurdistan region and vice versa following the latest developments in that region,” Tasnim reported.

Iraq’s Kurds overwhelmingly backed a call for independence in a referendum on Monday, defying neighboring countries which fear the vote could lead to renewed conflict in the region.

A ban on international flights into Iraq’s Kurdish region was being imposed on Friday after the Baghdad government retaliated against the vote.

Almost all foreign airlines suspended flights to Erbil and Sulaimaniya, obeying a notice from the government in Baghdad, which controls Iraqi air space.

Iran, which has its own Kurdish minority, had already halted flights to and from Kurdish regions on Sunday.

Writing by Parisa Hafezi; editing by Alexander Smith, Greg Mahlich