Iran, Iraq ink deal for protection of borders, cooperation in areas of security

Iraqi prime minister’s office said on Sunday (March 19) that Iran’s top security official has signed a deal with Iraqi authorities for “protection” of their common border. The development has taken place months after Tehran conducted strikes on Kurdish opposition group in northern Iraq.

Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region hosts camps and rear-bases operated by several Iranian Kurdish factions, which Iran has accused of serving Western or Israeli interests in the past.

Iran launched cross-border missile and drone strikes against Kurdish groups in November. It accused them if stoking nationwide protests after the death of Kurdish-Iranian woman Mahsa Amini.

Ali Shamkhani, who heads Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, inked the deal with his Iraqi counterpart Qassem al-Araji during a visit to Baghdad, the statement said.

It comprises “coordination over the protection of common borders”, and will also see the “strengthening of cooperation in several areas of security”, the statement from the office of Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani added.

Shamkhani denounced “vicious activities by counter-revolutionary elements” in northern Iraq, a reference to the Kurdish groups operating in the country, according to Iran’s state news agency IRNA.

He said the agreement signed on Sunday “can completely and fundamentally end the vicious actions of these groups,” which the Iranian government labels “terrorist.”

(With inputs from agencies)

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