Tehran follows along lines of Ankara, threatens to invade KRI over presence of armed groups
Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) threatened on Saturday to invade parts of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) where they say Kurdish armed opposition groups have bases.
Iranian authorities have been accusing such groups of stirring up the unrest in Iran that began after the death in custody of Mahsa Amini.
IRGC said on Twitter:
"The units of the armed forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran are ready to intervene directly and rid the region of these demons forever if some neighbors are unable to expel the agents of hypocrites and separatist terrorists stationed on the border lines."
The IRGC statement is an indication that Tehran is preparing to follow in the footsteps of Ankara who have been conducting military campaigns in KRI, alleged to target the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
Iranian forces carried out air strikes on 28 September to hit the bases of Komala Party, Democratic Party (PDKI), Free Life Party of Kurdistan (PJAK) and Kurdistan Freedom Party (PAK). The attacks left many dead and injured.
Chief of Staff: "Efforts of the police appreciated"
The fatalities in protests reached at least 185 in Iran, according to a human rights group, including those in the demonstrations in Sunni-majority Sistan and Baluchistan province - staged over an alleged incident of rape of a young woman by an Iranian officer. At least 19 of the fatalities are teenagers.
The Chief of Staff for the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Major General Mohammad Bagheri, said on Saturday that the efforts by the police is being appreciated "given the current security situation hatched by enemies' plots."
"The enemies tried to deceive Iranian youths and teenagers into accepting their fake stories on social media platforms in order to create unrest and riot," he added.
State TV hacked
Iran's state-run broadcaster was reportedly hacked on air Saturday, with a news bulletin interrupted by a protest against the country's leader.
While a mask appeared on the screen, it was followed by an image of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei with flames around him.
The hacker group called itself "Adalat Ali", or "Ali's Justice."