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IRGC chief says borders enjoy full security, rejects concerns over Afghanistan developments

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Hossein Salami

The commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says the country’s borders enjoy full security, with the IRGC, Army and Police forces closely watching and controlling border areas, as the Taliban militants capture new territories in neighboring Afghanistan.

“The armed forces are present at the country’s eastern borders with full readiness and vigilance,” Major General Hossein Salami told reporters on Friday morning during a visit to the northeastern city of Mashhad.

Salami reiterated that all of the official and unofficial border crossings in the east of the country are under full control of the Iranian armed forces.

“People should not worry at all, because the scope of our observations has gone beyond the borders and we are monitoring and controlling all the developments in the neighboring country,” he said.

In recent weeks, the Taliban militants have waged a massive rampage across the war-torn country, seizing control of multiple strategic cities toward the capital, Kabul.

The Taliban now control more than half of the country’s 400-odd districts. They took over Herat, Afghanistan's third-largest city, on Thursday and seized another district capital just 150 kilometers from Kabul.

Herat – about 150 kilometers from the Iranian border – is home to veteran warlord Ismail Khan, who for weeks has been rallying his forces to make a stand against the Taliban and was seen by many as Herat's last hope.

Seyyed Rasoul Mousavi, head of the West Asia Department at Iran’s Foreign Ministry, said early on Friday that the forces of the Islamic Emirate (the Taliban) are in control of Herat.

“The [Iranian] consul general, diplomats and the staff of the Consulate General are inside the building. I am in regular contact with them. The forces in control of the city are committed to the full security of the Consulate General, its diplomats and staff,” Mousavi said via Twitter.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh also voiced Tehran’s concern about the intensification of violence in Afghanistan and called for attention to be paid to protecting the lives of innocent people in the midst of the ongoing conflict.

Pointing to the Taliban’s takeover of Herat, Khatibzadeh underlined the necessity of ensuring the complete safety and health of diplomats and diplomatic missions there.

He added that Tehran remains in regular contact with the Consulate General of the Islamic Republic in Herat and ensures the Iranian diplomat’s health and well-being there.


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