Iran warned Monday that it would not extend a September deadline for Iraq to disarm and evacuate Iranian Kurdish opposition groups based in camps within Iraqi territory, calling their presence a “dark stain” on otherwise friendly relations and raising fears of further Iranian attacks. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kaanani said a Sept. 19 deadline set for disarming the groups would “not be extended in any way.”
In July, Iran threatened to use military force should Baghdad fail to comply with its demands as it did in September and November last year, striking Iranian Kurdish parties deep inside Iraqi Kurdistan with ballistic missiles and suicide drones and assassinating their leaders in urban centers.
“Our operations against these groups will definitely reoccur more severely” unless Iraq did as it was told, said Iran’s Chief of General Staff Mohammad Hossein Bagheri.
In March, Iran and Iraq signed a security agreement, the details of which were never formally disclosed. “Under the signed security deal, Iraq pledged it would not allow armed groups to use its territory in the Iraqi Kurdish region to launch any cross-border attacks on [neighboring] Iran,” said an Iraqi security official who attended the signing, Reuters reported.