10:29 GMT23 June 2021
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    A senior Iranian military official claimed that Saudi Arabia, along with neighboring Gulf states, provides material support to Daesh extremists with an aim toward spreading terrorism to Iran.

    General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan, commander of the Iranian Army’s ground forces, commented in an interview Wednesday with Press TV that regional countries, specifically Saudi Arabia, are providing material support to Daesh, helping the violent extremist group spread terrorism in Iran.

    Opposition fighters from the Ahrar Al-Sham brigade, part of the Islamic front coalition, walk in the Shiekh Lutfi neighbourhood of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo during ongoing clashes with government forces on January 27, 2014
    © AFP 2021 / BARAA AL-HALABI

    "We know that some reactionary regimes of the region, including Saudi Arabia – which sponsors Daesh terrorism and sort of supports the terrorists both financially and spiritually – and its puppets, who all enjoy help from the US and Israeli intelligence services, are planning to get terrorist groups into our country," Pourdastan said.

    In 2014, Daesh extremists were identified in Iraq’s eastern Diyala Province, bordering Iran’s western Kermanshah Province, attempting to carry out terror attacks in Iran, claimed Gen. Pourdastan. He said that, at the time, Iran’s "armed forces intervened in a timely manner and took decisive action."

    Following the 2014 Daesh advance, Iran defined a 25 mile (40km) perimeter beyond its border as a red line warning that any attempt to cross would be met with a firm response. The perimeter includes Iraqi territory, raising the specter that Iranian forces could violate Iraqi sovereignty in its efforts to prevent terrorism from spilling into Iran.

    The Iranian military official offered that Iran’s "defensive doctrine means that we do not intend to invade any country." He stated that Iranian troops must be prepared to expand defense drills to provide a deterrent against Daesh and other terrorist groups.

    Pourdastan repeatedly referred to Daesh extremists as Takfiri, a term referring to a Sunni Muslim who accuses another Muslim of apostasy. The term has become synonymous with Daesh in Iranian parlance, in reference to the group’s fundamentalist Sunni doctrines, but has also been used to refer to violent religious extremist groups including al-Qaeda and the Taliban.


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