Ghasemi Says Regional Conditions Draw Turkey And Iran Closer

Erdogan points out Mossad's role in northern Iraq poll

Following the recent controversial independence referendum of Iraqi Kurdistan region, Iran's air force reinforced its defensive role along the country's western borders by deploying new missile hardware.

A Turkish court on Wednesday found 42 former soldiers guilty of trying to kill President Tayyip Erdogan during last year's failed coup, and handed majority life sentences in the highest profile case related to the attempted putsch so far.

Touching upon counter-terrorism and border security issues, Akar added that Turkey and Iran have agreed to increase bilateral ties and cooperation in security related matters, to add to already strong political and economic relations.

"The political, economic and worldwide relations between Iran and Turkey are in a good position, but we should strive to advance military and defense cooperation consistent with other fields", Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday after his meeting with the Turkish top general.

Rouhani also said that Iran can be a "reliable source" to provide the European Union's member states with energy.

"Words don't mean anything here as we didn't have chance to a fair trial", said another defendant, Gokhan Sen.

"We held talks on the common threats [Iran and Turkey], and also on the referendum in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region with an emphasis on the maintenance of Iraq's integrity and rejection of the referendum", Gen. Baqeri told reporters Monday in Tehran.

Rouhani said the two countries will work together to counter the disintegration of Iraq and Syria, and to ease tension in the crisis-hit region. "Meetings will be held to discuss the details", he said.

The Kurds are the region's fourth largest ethnic group, spread across Iran, Turkey, Syria and Iraq, all of which oppose any moves towards sovereignty.

"But the people of Iraqi Kurdistan are our good neighbours, are our dear brothers".

The atmosphere for the talks was a far cry from Erdogan's last visit to Tehran in April 2015 when a speech he gave just days before sparked demands from some Iranian lawmakers for it to be cancelled.

Erdo─čan said the referendum had no legitimacy and had only been recognized by Israeli regime.

For his part, O'Donovan said that Ireland is determined to expand cooperation with Iran. He is expected to meet with Iranian President Hasan Rouhani, Defense Minister Amir Hatami and head of Iran's National Security Council Ali Shamkhani during his visit.

Washington is also vehemently opposed to the Kurdish referendum, with the White House claiming it would derail the campaign to drive Islamic State out of the country.

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