September 7, 2021
The commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard’s ground forces has warned Iraq and the autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan not to allow anti-Islamic Republic armed groups to keep a presence on the Iraqi side of the border.
Fars news agency close to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said that after recent “movements” by “terrorist groups” on Iran’s northwestern borders with Iraq, General Mohammad Pakpour visited military basis in the region. The agency quoted the commander of ground forces as saying that Tehran has told both the Kurdish authorities and Iraq’s central government that certain elements enjoy freedom of movement near the borders.
Pakpour also warned armed groups of a strong response by Iran’s armed forces that in the past have attacked rebel positions, using artillery and ballistic missiles.
Armed Iranian Kurdish groups have opposed the Islamic Republic from early 1980s and often penetrate from Iraq into Iranian Kurdish regions to organize their supporters or to attack IRGC targets.
Tehran accuses these groups of serving the interests of its enemies, hinting that Israel and others lend support to the Kurds. In recent weeks, more than 50 Kurds have been arrested in Iran without public charges and most are detained at unknown locations. There are also many Kurdish civic activists who do not belong to armed groups.