Iran and ISIL
Iran's military action against ISIL
Iran's Quds Force is a "key player" in Military intervention against the ISIL and its "mastermind" commander Major General Qassem Soleimani maintains a frequent presence in Iraq while his pictures in the battlefield are regularly published.
In 14 March 2016, two ISIL cells equipped with explosive devices were eliminated near the border by the Ground Forces of Islamic Republic of Iran Army.
Iran's political stance
|“||On the issue of DAESH (ISIL), they formed a coalition. Of course, they are lying and this is a hypocritical act. They wrote a letter to our Ministry of Foreign Affairs saying, "If you say that America gives weapons to DAESH, this is a lie and we are not supporting them". Well, a short time after that, the photos which showed that America gives weapons to DAESH were published.||”|
Designation as "Terrorist"
Iranian official and semi-official media outlets such as state-run Iran Daily, IRIB-affiliated Press TV and IRGC-tied news agencies Fars and Tasnim frequently call ISIL as "terrorist organization" and "Takfiri".
ISIL's threats to Iran
While Iran is a Shia-dominant country, ISIL is ideologically anti-Shia and regards Shias as infidels, having killed thousands of them. After rapidly expanding in Iraq, ISIL became a threat only kilometers away from Iranian western borders. With the Pakistan-based Sunni Jihadist groups in eastern Iran and an ongoing Sistan and Baluchestan insurgency, some alarmed the possibility of a wider backlash there.
Iran threatened ISIL that managing to attack Baghdad or holy shrines of Shia Imams and getting close to Iran-Iraq border is "over the red lines" and if they are crossed, Iran will engage in a direct action.
In September 2014, Iranian paper Islamic Republican quoted Hadana news reporting "ISIL designated Emir for Iran and several of his aides were arrested by security bodies". The report did not name the Emir, and did not say if they had been able to sneak into Iran or arrested abroad. Neither did it mention the security bodies of which country have made the arrest.
In the same month, Minister of Interior Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli announced Iran has arrested several suspected members of ISIL trying to enter Iran. He said that two or three of them have confessed “entering Iran has been among the plans of the ISIL” and dismissed the reports on the ISIL move to recruit members inside Iran, despite noting “this does not mean that the group has not launched a publicity campaign for recruitment”.
On 29 January 2015, ISIL announced a new province called Wilayat Khorasan consisting of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and "other nearby lands". Hafiz Saeed Khan was designated as Emir of the province. Pakistani Hafiz Saeed Khan, 42, also known as Mulla Saeed Orakzai is a former member of Taliban.
Iranian citizens and ISIL
Tehran Bureau reports a popular support on Iran's military action against ISIL.
According to Al Jazeera, as of January 2015 "hundreds" of Iranian Sunni Kurd population have crossed the Iran-Iraq border to fight ISIL, mostly joining Iraqi Kurdistan fighters also known as Peshmerga.
Several research works and polls conducted by a security body in Iran have shown that Iran's Sunni community "are not interested in membership in the ISIL". However Erbil-based website Rudaw, cites a Facebook post from One ISIL page saying that in October 2014, 23 Kurds from Iran had joined the group. Kurdish activist Mokhtar Hoshmand has claimed “20 Iranian Kurdish members of ISIL have been killed and 30 have been injured”.
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