Iran asks Iraq to expel Iranian rebels from Kurdistan region


A senior Iranian security official urged Iraq on Tuesday to expel Iranian rebels from Iraqi Kurdistan, or expect Tehran to take “preventative measures” against the armed groups, Iranian state media reported.

Iran has in the past shelled armed Kurdish opposition groups based in northern Iraq, mostly in areas controlled by the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

“We call on the Iraqi government to take more serious action to expel these groups from Iraqi Kurdistan so that Iran does not have to take preventative measures against…these armed terrorists,” said Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s top national security body, the state news agency IRNA reported.

Shamkhani, who made the remarks at a meeting with visiting Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein, did not refer to the KRG.

There are frequent clashes along Iran’s border with northern Iraq between Iranian security forces and Kurdish militant groups such as the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) and the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK), which has links to Kurdish PKK insurgents in Turkey.