Erdogan And Rouhani Threaten Sanctions Against Iraqi Kurdistan

The defendants being escorted to the court house

Iran and Turkey have resolved to work together to ease tension in the crisis-hit Middle East region.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to arrive in Tehran on Wednesday.

"America and Israel benefit from the vote... America and foreign powers are unreliable and seek to create a new Israel in the region", he said.

"Turkey, Iran and Iraq have no choice but to take serious and necessary measures to protect their strategic goals in the region", Mr Rohani said.

The nonbinding referendum - in which the Kurds voted more than 90 percent in favor of a break with Iraq - will not immediately result in independence. They fear it could derail the fight against Islamic State.

He will also meet with Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, during his trip to Tehran. The US, meanwhile, had opposed the vote, calling it provocative and destabilizing.

Since 1984, the Kurdish rebel group known as the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) has been involved in an armed conflict with Turkey, in an attempt to carve out an independent Kurdish state.

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Turkey will take stronger steps in retaliation for the Kurdish referendum last week, and has already taken some steps to coordinate with the Iraqi central government and Iran, Erdogan said in Tehran. "It is not possible for any decision taken after discussions with Mossad to be legal".

Mr Erdogan's visit to Tehran shows signs of warming ties between the two countries, who support rival camps in Syria but both strongly oppose last week's Iraqi Kurdish referendum on independence.

Baghdad imposed a ban on all worldwide flights to Kurdish airports on Friday prompting an exodus of foreigners.

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

Judge Emirsah Bastog read out guilty verdicts for 42 of the 47 defendants, according to a Reuters reporter at the court in Mugla, southwestern Turkey.

Pointing to common stance of Iran, Iraq and Turkey against secession of Iraqi Kurdistan, he said, "We have reached good political and military agreements regarding the region, as the Kurdish region will face severe economic, political and military sanctions if the current situation continues to persist".

"Holding the referendum in Iraq's Kurdistan will help the Western-Zionist-Arab front supporting Takfiri terrorism achieve its objectives and is definitely in contradiction to the interests of the Iraqi people, particularly the Kurds", Shamkhani said.

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