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Iran threatens to attack Islamic State "deep into Iraqi territory"

An Iranian military commander said that forces have been built up on the Iraqi border to counter the IS threat, and that they would attack into Iraq if necessary.

By Fred Lambert
Members of the Iranian army march in Tehran, April 18, 2014. (File/ UPI/Maryam Rahmanian)
Members of the Iranian army march in Tehran, April 18, 2014. (File/ UPI/Maryam Rahmanian) | License Photo

TEHRAN, Sept. 27 (UPI) -- A general in the Iranian military said Saturday that his forces are prepared to attack inside Iraqi territory to strike at militants of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, also known as Daesh, ISIS or ISIL, should they come too close to Iran's western border.

Iranian media reports that army commander Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan said that "If the terrorist group Daesh comes near our borders, we will attack deep into Iraqi territory and we will not allow it to approach our border."

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Lieutenant Commander of the Army Ground Force Brigadier General Kioumars Heidari told IRNA in August that Iranian army forces have had a large presence in the western border area, and that IS forces were "not counted a threat to Iranˈs military might."

IS militants control large areas in Iraq's Diyala province, which lies north of Baghdad and borders Iran.

International efforts against the so-called Islamic State have created a rare alignment of strategic goals between traditional adversaries such as the United States, Iran, Russia and the Assad regime in Syria. However, Tehran rejected a request by the United States to cooperate, saying that the U.S. had "evil intentions and stained hands," and was lying about its air campaign against IS.

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Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also alleged that the true goal of the West is the removal of Bashar Assad, an ally of Shia Iran.

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