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Iran Guards' Commander Says US, Saudis Supplying Arms To Militant Groups

Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour, Commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard's Ground Forces, during a military drill. Undated photo.

The Commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Ground Forces on Tuesday accused Saudi Arabia of supplying "at least three plane-loads of arms and equipment" to Jaish al-Adl, a Sunni separatist group in southeast Iran.

Speaking at a gathering of the armed forces on Tuesday, Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour said the United States and Saudi Arabia "extensively support" groups such as PJAK, Komala and the Democratic Party of Kurdestan and Saudis have supplied Jaish al-Adl with "at least three plane-loads of arms and equipment".

The Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK), Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan and the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan are active in Iran's northwestern and western provinces of Kurdestan and in West Azarbaijan while Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice) is active in south-eastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan.

"These terrorists have modern equipment which proves they have the full support of the United States, Saudi Arabia and their allies in the region," Pakpour said and claimed that despite such support the Islamic Republic has "established an acceptable [level of] security in its northwestern, western and southeastern borders.

The Province of Sistan and Baluchistan is arguably one of the most deprived areas of Iran. The Province is populated mainly by ethnic Baluchis who are Sunni Muslims. The often volatile province neighbors Pakistan's Balochistan Province. Militant groups and drug smugglers frequently operate on both sides of the border.

Jaish al-Adl has on numerous occasions taken responsibility for the killing or abduction of Iranian border guards and Revolutionary Guard members as well as suicide attacks and bombings leading to the killing of civilians. Iran has always alleged that Jaish al-Adl operates from safe havens in Balochistan and called on Pakistan to crack down on them.

The U.S. Department of State in July 2019 designated Jaish al-Adl (known as Jundullah until 2012) as a terrorist group.