Iraq and Iran sign agreement to strengthen border security

Iraqi officials say the move aims to tighten the border with the Kurdish region of Iraq, where Tehran says armed Kurdish dissidents pose a threat to its security.

Iraq and Iran have signed a border security deal, a move Iraqi officials say is primarily aimed at tightening the border with the Kurdish region of Iraq, where Tehran says Kurdish armed groups constitute a threat to his safety.

Sunday’s joint security agreement includes coordination in “the protection of common borders between the two countries and the consolidation of cooperation in several areas of security”, according to a statement from the Iraqi Prime Minister’s Office.

Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani signed the agreement with Iraqi national security adviser Qasim al-Araji, in the presence of Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed al-Sudani, the prime minister’s office said.

“Under the signed security agreement, Iraq undertakes not to allow armed groups to use its territory in the Kurdish region of Iraq to launch border attacks against neighboring Iran,” an official said. Iraqi security who attended the signing, according to Reuters. Press Agency.

Shamkhani denounced “the vicious activities of counter-revolutionary elements” in northern Iraq, a reference to Kurdish groups operating in the country, according to Iranian state news agency IRNA.

He said the agreement signed on Sunday “can completely and fundamentally end the vicious actions of these groups”, which the Iranian government calls “terrorists”.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani (far right) meets with Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani, in Baghdad, Iraq [Iraqi Prime Minister Media Office/Handout via Reuters]

The semi-autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq is home to camps and rear bases operated by several Iranian Kurdish factions, which Iran has accused of serving Western or Israeli interests in the past.

The border received renewed attention last year when Iran’s Revolutionary Guards launched missile and drone attacks on Iranian Kurdish groups based in northern Iraq, accusing them of fomenting protests sparked by the death of an Iranian Kurdish woman while in police custody. .

After the Iranian strikes, Iraq announced in November that it would redeploy federal guards to the Iraqi Kurdish-Iranian border, rather than leaving the responsibility to Kurdish peshmerga forces – a move welcomed by Tehran.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, speaking in Tehran, said “Shamkhani’s current trip to Iraq has been planned for four months and focuses on issues related to armed groups in northern Iraq. Iraq”.

Under no circumstances will Iran accept threats from Iraqi territories, he said.

Factions based in Iraq’s mountainous north have in the past waged an armed insurgency against Tehran, but in recent years their activity has declined and experts say they have ceased almost all military activity.

Iran has also accused Kurdish fighters of working with its archenemy Israel and has often expressed concern over the alleged presence of the Israeli spy agency Mossad in the autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq.

Last year, Iran’s Intelligence Ministry said a sabotage team detained by its security forces consisted of Kurdish fighters working for Israel who planned to blow up a “sensitive” defense industrial center in the city of Isfahan.


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