Iraq’s government has piled pressure on the country’s Kurds, demanding they cancel their overwhelming vote for independence.

Parliament has urged the Iraqi central government to send troops to take control of vital oil fields held by Kurdish forces.

Stepping up efforts to isolate autonomous Kurdish-held northern Iraq, which backed secession in a referendum on Monday that angered neighbouring countries, Iraq demanded that foreign governments close their diplomatic missions in the Kurdish capital, Erbil.

Final results released today showed nearly 93% in favour of independence, and 7.3% against.

More than 3.3 million people, or 72% of eligible voters, took part in Monday's ballot, according to the electoral commission.

The referendum has fuelled fears of a new regional conflict.

A delegation from Iraq's armed forces headed to neighbouring Iran to coordinate military efforts, apparently as part of retaliatory measures taken by the government in Baghdad following the vote.

Iran and Turkey also oppose any move towards Kurdish secession and their armies have started joint exercises near their borders with Iraqi Kurdistan in recent days.

Iraq and Turkey have also held joint military drills.

Foreign airlines began suspending flights to Kurdish airports after the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority said international flights to Erbil and Sulaimaniya would be suspended.

Kurdish authorities rejected Iraq’s demands that they annul the referendum as a condition for dialogue and hand over control of their international airports.

Turkey, which has threatened to impose sanctions on the Kurds, said its border with northern Iraq remained open, although it may not remain so.

Home to the region's largest Kurdish population, Turkey has been battling a three-decade insurgency in its largely Kurdish southeast and fears the referendum will inflame separatist tension at home.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who have stressed the need for Iraq's borders to remain unchanged, will meet in Ankara tomorrow.

Russia's interest in the region is growing. Oil major Rosneft is increasing investment in Kurdistan and the Kurds have been developing strong ties with Russia.

The Russian Foreign Ministry warned Iraq and the Kurds against taking any steps that might destabilise the Middle East after the referendum.

The Kurds consider Monday's referendum to be a historic step in a generations-old quest for a state of their own.

Iraq considers the vote unconstitutional, especially as it was held not only within the Kurdish region itself but also on disputed territory held by Kurds elsewhere in northern Iraq.

The United States, major European countries and neighbours Turkey and Iran strongly opposed the referendum, which they described as destabilising at a time when all sides are still fighting against militants from the so-called Islamic State militant group.