Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) denied reports that Iran and Turkey plan to conduct joint military operations against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), beyond the country’s borders.
"We have not planned any operations across the borders of the Islamic Republic of Iran but will give a crushing response to any group, team or person intending to cross the Iranian territory for anti-security or terrorist acts," Iranian English language news websites quoted an anonymous IRGC source on Tuesday.
However, the source has been quoted warning “terrorist groups” operating in Iran's northwestern border regions and saying, in case of any “hostile” movement or aggression, IRGC would chase them “anywhere” and punish them.
Iranian news sources in Farsi did not mention the part of the statement addressing the joint operation with Turkey and focused only on threats against unnamed terrorist groups who supposedly “intend to infiltrate Iran and cause insecurity.”
After meeting Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri, the chief of staff of Iran's armed forces in Ankara last week, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that Turkey and Iran have discussed possible joint military action against Kurdish militant groups.
Erdogan also said a more effective struggle against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and its Iranian affiliate, PJAK, would be possible through joint action with Iran.
Iranian news agency ISNA quoted General Baqeri saying only that he had reached agreements with Turkish officials on “preventing terrorists crossing on the joint borders.”
In an interview with Radio Farda, Habib Hosseinifard, an Iranian journalist residing in Germany, pointed at the fluctuations in the relationship between the two neighbors and said, in the past, Tehran’s view of PKK had not been the same as Ankara. Iran even had used PKK as leverage against Turkey by tolerating the organization’s actions in its border areas. Therefore, the agreements between the officials of the two countries were very significant, Hosseinifard added.