Iran tells UN it had no choice but to defend itself against terrorists
In light of increased terror operations carried out by Kurdish militants, Iran initiated a series of strikes in northern Iraq in an act of self-defense.
In a letter sent to the UN Security Council on Thursday, Iran said the targeted attacks in Northern Iraq were carried out in an act of national self-defense, Iranian state media reported.
Since November 20, the IRGC has been carrying out a series of cross-border missile and drone strikes on Iranian-Kurdish opposition groups based in Northern Iraq, who are responsible for fueling riots over the death of Mahsa Amini.
"Iran recently carried out operations against terrorist groups in northern Iraq as it had no other choice than to use its natural right to defend itself in the framework of international law to protect its national security," Tehran's permanent representative to the UN wrote to the United Nations Security Council.
"For years, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been the target of attacks by terrorist groups based in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. These groups have recently intensified their activities and have illegally transferred large quantities of weapons into Iran to arm affiliated groups that intend to carry out terrorist operations" within Iran, and as a result, the letter states, "we have seen an increase in human casualties, brutality and destruction of public and private property".
The letter stated that these groups have deliberately used Iraqi territory to plan and organize their terror operations against Iran.
Tehran demands that "the perpetrators of terrorist crimes be tried by Iranian courts, the closure of command centers of terrorist groups and their training camps, and the disarmament of armed elements in northern Iraq," the letter said.
The Iranian delegation further added that Iran is strongly committed to collaborating with the Iraqi government to address this issue, and it intends to do so through the set up of bilateral mechanisms as part of the ongoing war against terrorism.
In formal talks, the foreign ministers of Iran and Iraq emphasized the respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq, as well as the urgent necessity of dealing with terrorism based on international regulations and the importance of bilateral cooperation in dealing with the challenges caused by terrorist operations.
The letter concludes as follows: "The Islamic Republic of Iran fully respects the security and stability of Iraq and once again emphasizes its commitment to the territorial integrity, unity and sovereignty of the Republic of Iraq."
Another letter sent earlier in the day to the members of the United Nations saw Iran requesting Iraq to comply with its commitments and shut down headquarters pertaining to terrorist organizations on its lands.
It further highlighted Iraq's responsibility "to maintain effective control over its entire territory and internationally recognized borders," adding that Iran has previously shared evidence and information with the Iraqi government regarding the terrorist groups, their whereabouts, and their plots.
This comes after the Komalah and Democrat terrorist groups attempted to infiltrate Iran through its border cities, with the IRGC stating, “These terrorists - who are backed by the global arrogance and are based in the Iraqi northern region – were forced to flee the country after accepting heavy casualties.”
In its statement, the IRGC stressed that officials of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region have been warned previously about the terrorist groups in the region, but no attention was paid to the warnings and no preventative measures were taken.
When the attacks began in September, the operation carried out by Tehran's forces was part of efforts to ensure "durable security" along the Iraqi-Iranian borders and "punish criminal terrorists," the IRGC clarified.