Iran Reportedly Tightens Eastern Border Amid Islamic State Threat

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Iran's Deputy Interior Minister Hossein Zolfaqari has announced that Iranian border guards had been reinforcing the country's eastern borders over the past few months amid reports of a new self-declared Islamic State group appearing in the region.

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Iran's Deputy Interior Minister Hossein Zolfaqari has announced tighter controls of the country's eastern borders amid reports of a new self-declared Islamic State (IS) militant group appearing in the region, Fars news agency reports.

"A group under the name of Islamic State has declared existence across our borders in the East, and we are now studying this group to see if it is considered as an ISIL [IS] group or not," Hossein Zolfaqari was quoted as saying by the agency.

The official stressed that Iranian border guards have been reinforcing the country's eastern borders over the past few months, using the help of modern surveillance equipment.

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According to Zolfaqari, the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) are deployed in eastern Iran to assist the country's security forces in repelling potential attacks.

Islamic State, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), is a radical Sunni group in control of vast territories in Syria and Iraq, the latter of which shares a border with Iran to the west. The militant group practices a radical version of sharia law and is notorious for human rights atrocities, including public crucifixions and beheadings.

A US-led anti-IS coalition has been carrying out airstrikes against IS targets in Iraq and Syria since September, 20014.

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