Erdogan, Rouhani vow to toughen Turkey-Iran strategic cooperation

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Iran and Turkey on Monday said they were stepping up military cooperation, including large-scale war games and counterterrorismoperations, in the wake of Iraqi Kurdistan's historic independence referendum vote.

The upcoming visit of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Iranian capital Tehran targets expanding bilateral ties and cooperation in fight against terrorism.

Ayatollah Khamenei further termed the development as an "incident", adding that Iran and Turkey must take any possible measures to confront with the incident.

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 a lot of them life sentences in the highest profile case related to the attempted putsch so far.

Both Iran and Turkey have held military manoeuvres close to their borders with Iraqi Kurdistan to ratchet up the pressure on Kurdish leaders.

The Iranian defense minister said those behind Iraq's partition must know that they are certainly playing in the hands of the U.S. and the Israeli regime "because regional countries need peace, security and stability and any move contrary to regional people's demands is doomed to failure".

Erdoğan also said they chose to conduct trade with Iran in local currencies.

At a joint news conference, Rouhani said "We will not accept changing borders in the region".

Iran and Russian Federation support Syria's Bashar al-Assad, while Turkey has supported some of the rebel groups in the past. "Meetings will be held to discuss the details", he said.

He said Turkey and Iran have agreed to "confront" threats of disintegration of Iraq, as well as Syria.

The Turkish leader had accused Iran at the time of seeking to "dominate the region" and demanded that it withdraw its troops from Iraq and Syria.

Baghdad imposed a ban on all worldwide flights to Kurdish airports on Friday, while Tehran has ordered a halt to all trade in fuel products with Iraqi Kurdistan.

Akar arrived in Tehran on Sunday on an invitation from the Iranian chief of staff.

Erdoğan said the referendum had no legitimacy and had only been recognized by Israeli regime.

"It was the people who determined their future in the referendum", he said. 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.

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