Iran threatens to attack Kurdish rebels in Iraq
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — An Iranian military official on Monday threatened to attack bases of an Iranian Kurdish opposition group in neighboring Iraq, the official IRNA news agency reported.
The official, who was not identified by name, also accused the president of Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region, Massoud Barzani, of providing bases to the Iranian Kurdish opposition group PEJAK without informing the central Iraqi government in Baghdad.
PEJAK, which stands in Kurdish for the "Party of Free Life of Kurdistan," has been involved in sporadic armed clashes with Iranian forces in recent years. The rebels say they are fighting for greater rights for their minority community.
Iran has accused the U.S., Britain and Israel of seeking to incite tension on Iran's borders to undermine the government in Tehran, charges they've denied.
"We reserve the right to attack and destroy terrorist bases in border regions. Terrorists won't be allowed to take sanctuary in the Iraqi territory and launch attacks against Iran with the support of the U.S. and the Zionist regime," IRNA on Monday quoted the military official as saying. "Action will be taken against these terrorists."
Iran has sporadically bombed PEJAK bases deep inside Iraq's northern Kurdistan region.
The official accused Barzani of supporting the rebels and giving PEJAK land along the border from which to launch attacks against Iran.
"Authorities and specifically the president of autonomous Kurdistan have betrayed the nations of Iran and Iraq, providing bases to the terrorist PEJAK group," he said.
The official invited Iraq's central government to send a military delegation to Tehran to discuss the issue.