Iranian Commander Casts Doubt over ISIL’s Substantial Presence in Afghanistan
Commander of the Iranian Border Guards Brigadier General Qassem Rezayee said reports on the presence of the ISIL terrorist group in Afghanistan and the surrounding regions are not yet confirmed.
“There are no reports to fully confirm ISIL’s presence in Afghanistan and other countries of this region, that is the ISIL that is operating in Iraq and Syria and has done numerous crimes,” Rezayee told reporters at the end of the first joint meeting with Tajikistan’s border guards commanders in Dushanbe on Thursday.
He said that Iran and Tajikistan have agreed to cooperate in the war on ISIL in Iraq and Syria.
“But there are other groups in the region which also disturb security and work is underway over their case too,” Rezayee said.
In relevant remarks on Tuesday, Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Hassan Firouzabadi underlined that the ISIL is not able to even approach Iran’s borders.
“The ISIL is no threat to us and we are determined to annihilate it if ever ISIL’s footprints span to areas 40km away from our borders,” Firouzabadi said in Tehran.
He stressed that the ISIL has never been present at the Iranian borders at all.
Also on Saturday, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani stressed The ISIL terrorists don’t dare to approach Iran’s borders.
Speaking in an interview with the state TV, Shamkhani underlined that Iran is watching every terrorist activity of the Takfiri groups, which are “now very vulnerable” in their fight against the Iraqi government.
Referring to the Takfiri groups’ attempts to enter Iran via its Western borders, Shamkhani said, “We have been able to push them back.”
He further said that Iran‘s support for Iraqis, including Shias, Sunnis, and Kurds, has managed to weaken the terrorist groups, adding that if Iran had not helped Iraq, “the situation of the country would have definitely changed”.
ISIL “threats against Baghdad”, or the Shiite holy shrines, as well as any Takfiri advance towards the Iranian borders are “considered the Islamic Republic’s three redlines”, said the senior Iranian security official.
In January, Iranian Ground Force Commander Brigadier General Ahmadreza Pourdastan said the ISIL has evacuated areas closer than 40km to the Iranian border after receiving relevant warnings from Tehran.
“When the terrorist and Takfiri ISIL grouplet entered Iraq from the country’s Western borders and reached near the Iranian borders, the Ground Force was fully ready to suppress the terrorist grouplet,” Pourdastan said.
“At that time, in addition to full preparedness at the borders, we drew a redline 40km inside the Iraqi soil and underlined that if they passed this redline, they would be given a crushing response by the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Armed Forces,” he added.
The ISIL terrorist grouplet received the message and rapidly moved away from the specified areas, Pourdastan said.
He also reiterated the full preparedness of the Ground Force’s different units to safeguard and defend the Iranian borders at any moment.