The Iranian Foreign Ministry warns that the country’s “strategic patience” with terrorist groups operating on the Iran-Iraq border has come to an end, calling on authorities in Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Baghdad to disarm the counterrevolutionary outfits.
Saeed Khatibzadeh, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, said in a news conference on Monday that Tehran has lost patience with terrorist groups in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region and will not allow their acts of terror to continue against the Islamic Republic.
“In the face of some terrorist acts by [anti-Iran] groups in the Iraqi Kurdistan region, we exercised strategic patience coupled with tact to resolve this issue in its own way. Iran’s message to the region and Baghdad is that this approach can no longer continue,” Khatibzadeh told reporters at the presser.
The spokesman underlined that the presence of terrorist groups in the area is in contravention of good neighborly ties with Iraq as well as the international law.
“It is not possible to see the presence of military bases by anti-Iranian terrorist groups on the borders of the Kurdistan region and in Iraq. We cannot see the establishment of military bases where terrorist groups receive military training to attack Iran. This is against the international law,” Khatibzadeh said.
He also called on officials in the KRG and Iraq to disarm the terrorist groups, noting that the authorities there have been notified of Iran’s warning and that those bases have to be dismantled.
“Baghdad and the region have been told that these actions are no longer acceptable, and that these groups and bases must be dismantled and disarmed,” the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said, adding, “The region and Iraq’s central government must fulfill their legal duties” in this regard.
The Kurdistan region in Iraq has long been used by anti-Iran terror groups, such as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its offshoots, to launch occasional attacks against Iranian border guards and border areas in northwestern parts of the country.
The attacks have been met with crushing response from Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and other military units deployed in those areas.
Back on September 9, the IRGC Ground Forces used combat drones as well as smart and precision-guided artillery to target terrorists in the rugged mountains of Iraq’s Kurdistan region.
The retaliatory attack came days after the force’s commander, Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour, warned the KRG not to allow terrorist groups to use its territory to threaten the Islamic Republic.