Iran expects Iraq to prevent the northern Kurdistan region from being a launch pad for "terrorist" threats and attacks against Iranian territory, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said on Saturday. A statement issued by the Iranian Foreign Ministry explained that Abdollahian met Iraqi National Security Adviser Qassem Al-Araji and discussed bilateral relations and the situation in the Kurdistan region in northern Iraq, Russia's Sputnik has reported.
Abdollahian added that both Baghdad and Erbil must bear full responsibility for confronting terrorist and separatist groups in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. He stressed that Iraq and Iran have strategic and distinguished relations.
In response, Al-Araji said that the federal government in Baghdad and the regional government in Erbil will confront any measure that affects Iran's security.
In a related issue, the Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Mohammad Bagheri, said that the army is monitoring US bases in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. "We know the location of the American bases in Iraqi Kurdistan and how many troops are there. If they take any action against our drones, we will definitely respond," Bagheri was quoted as saying by Iranian television.
He added that Tehran has informed the Kurdish authorities that "terrorist groups" can either turn into civilian parties and factions and be disarmed, or remain terrorists and be deported. "We can never tolerate the presence of 3,000 military personnel who have a bomb-making centre behind our border, and we will confront them by all means."
The Iranian Foreign Ministry confirmed on 10 October the targeting of "separatist groups" in the Kurdistan region.
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