A top Iranian military commander said the country has given Iraq several more days to fully implement a March agreement to relocate and disarm anti-Iran groups operating from the Arab country’s Kurdistan region, stressing that all terrorist groups in the region must be disarmed.
Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri, the Chief of General Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces, said the March agreement stipulated that these groups be disarmed by September 19 but this has not happened yet.
“What happened during this six-month respite was that [they] just distanced a bit from the borders of our country,” he said while thanking the Iraqi government for its efforts to disarm the separatists.
He was speaking on the sidelines of a Friday military parade marking the beginning of the National Holy Defense Week.
“The president said that the armed forces give [them] a few days. We will wait for several days and we will send observer teams to this region to see if the disarming is completed or not. After that, we decide what to do,” he said.
General Baqeri stressed all the terrorist groups should be disarmed and relocated.
“The president said separatist terrorists' armed forces should not be present in the Kurdistan region and all of Iraq. These terrorists should be fully disarmed and get expelled from Iraq,” he said.
Iraqi officials have in recent days reported that government forces have gained full control over all border points with neighboring Iran and the terrorists have been evacuated from the border regions.
Iraq’s defense minister Thabet Muhammad Saeed al-Abbasi on Tuesday told the Saudi broadcaster Al Arabiya that the presence of Kurdish groups operating against Iran has been limited to five camps inside Iraq.
Iraqi authorities have repeatedly stressed Baghdad is committed to the security agreement with Iran.
The presence of Kurdish terrorist groups, including the Kurdistan Democratic Party, Komala, Kurdistan Free Life Party, and the Kurdistan Freedom Party, has been a source of tension between Iran and Iraq for years, with these groups often carrying out terrorist attacks on Iranian soil.
Following last year’s riots, triggered by the death of Iranian woman Mahsa Amini, these groups intensified their subversive operations against Iran and smuggled weapons to their local agents.
That prompted Iran to push Iraq to put an end to terrorist activities of the anti-Iran groups, leading to the March agreement.