Iran could make 'decisive and shocking' move in Iraq
Mohamad Pakpour, who leads the ground troops of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, claimed "terrorist and counter-revolutionary groups" have long operated in northern Iraq, Iran's semi-official Fars News Agency said on Monday.
It was previously claimed in August by Ali Shamkhani, another high-level figure in the Islamic Republic, that there will be "preventative measures" if Baghdad fails to remove Iranian opposition factions from the Kurdistan region.
Iraqi Kurds have an autonomous area governed from Erbil which sits on the border with the Iran.
According to Fars on Monday, Iranian commander Pakpour has now alleged "foreign"-aligned factions in "northern Iraq… disrupt [the] security and tranquillity" of frontier regions in his country, as well as "harass" locals there.
Pakpour criticised both the Iraqi Kurdish administration and Baghdad federal government, claiming they allow rebels to operate there.
"Iraq and the officials of the northern region of this country have been given the necessary warnings," he claimed.
As such, due to "the situation in the region and the possibility of a decisive and shocking response", locals were requested by Tehran to steer clear of what Pakpour alleged are "terrorist bases so that they are not harmed".
In August, the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran said "a terrorist affiliated" with the Islamic Republic "assassinated" one of its leaders, Mussa Babakhani.
Iran claims the faction is a "terrorist" organisation.
Iran has long been criticised by the human rights community for mistreatment of Kurds, who account for around 1 in 10 of its citizens.
In February, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and 34 other groups penned an open letter addressing an "ongoing wave of arbitrary arrests" and other abuses against Kurds within Iran.