Tehran vowed on Tuesday to stand alongside Baghdad and Ankara against the outcome of an independence referendum staged by Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq, a day after thousands of Iranian Kurds marched in support of the vote.
State media also quoted an army commander as saying that new missile systems were installed on Tuesday, a day after the referendum, in western provinces that border Iraqi Kurdish areas to "firmly respond to any invasion".
Iran, Iraq and Turkey—countries with Kurdish minorities—have all denounced the referendum as a threat to the stability of a region already beset by conflict, while the United States has expressed similar disquiet.
Ali Akbar Velayati, the top adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, stepped up the pressure as the Iraqi government ruled out talks on possible secession for Kurdish-held northern Iraq and Turkey threatened sanctions.
"The Iraqi people won't stand silent. Iran and Turkey and other regional countries won't stand silent and will stand against this abhorrent deviation," Velayati was quoted as saying by ISNA news agency. "The Muslim nations will not allow the creation of a second Israel."