Iran strikes opposition positions on border with Iraqi Kurdistan

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards attacked positions of the Iranian armed opposition in the Kurdistan region of Iraq with drones and missiles. (File/AFP)
Updated 12 July 2019

Iran strikes opposition positions on border with Iraqi Kurdistan

  • A statement said the strikes were launched in retaliation for recent attacks by the group that killed at least five members of the Guards in northwest and western Iran

DUBAI: Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards used drones and missiles to strike the headquarters of a Kurdish militant group near Iran's border with neighbouring Iraq's Kurdistan region, the Iranian semi-official Tasnim news agency reported on Friday.
"A large number of terrorists were killed and wounded in the attacks that had started from Wednesday to target terrorist headquarters and their training camps," said the agency, citing a statement from the elite Guards.
A report from Tasnim in Arabic and a tweet in English from Iran's Press TV described the strikes as taking place on the Iraqi side of the border. However, the full statement in Farsi said only that the strikes had taken place along the border.
The statement said the strikes were launched in retaliation for recent attacks by the group that killed at least five members of the Guards in northwest and western Iran.
"The Iraqi Kurdistan government is expected to take Iran's warnings seriously and not allow terrorists to use its territory as a shelter to train, organise and endanger Iran's sustainable security by carrying out terrorist attacks," the statement said. "The Guards ... will respond harshly to any aggression against Iran's security."
There are frequent clashes in the area between Iranian security forces and Iranian Kurdish militant groups based in neighbouring Iraq, such as the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK), accused by Tehran of having links to Kurdish PKK insurgents in Turkey.


US sanctions Iran minister over Internet censorship

Updated 44 min 32 sec ago

US sanctions Iran minister over Internet censorship

  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin: We are sanctioning Iran’s Minister of Information and Communications Technology for restricting Internet access
  • Mnuchin: Iran’s leaders know that a free and open Internet exposes their illegitimacy, so they seek to censor Internet access to quell anti-regime protests

WASHINGTON: The US Treasury slapped punitive sanctions on Iran’s communications minister, Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi, Friday after the Tehran regime blocked Internet communications amid violent protests triggered by a petrol price hike.
“We are sanctioning Iran’s Minister of Information and Communications Technology for restricting Internet access, including to popular messaging applications that help tens of millions of Iranians stay connected to each other and the outside world,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a statement.
“Iran’s leaders know that a free and open Internet exposes their illegitimacy, so they seek to censor Internet access to quell anti-regime protests,” Mnuchin said.
The protests erupted across the country on November 15, after the price of petrol was raised by as much as 200 percent.
Officials have confirmed five deaths, while Amnesty International said that more than 100 demonstrators were believed to have been killed after authorities reportedly used live ammunition to quell the protests, which brought attacks on police stations and petrol stations and some looting of shops.
The Treasury said Azari Jahomi is a former official of the Ministry of Intelligence who has advanced Internet censorship since becoming minister two years ago.
He has “also been involved in surveillance against opposition activists,” the Treasury said.
Internet service remained mostly blocked on Friday for a sixth day, with officials and news agencies saying the blackout was gradually being rolled back.
The sanctions would freeze financial assets and property Azari Jahomi has in US jurisdictions and forbid Americans or US businesses, especially banks, from dealing with him.
On Thursday, President Donald Trump accused Iran of blocking the Internet to cover up “death and tragedy” resulting from the protests.
“Iran has become so unstable that the regime has shut down their entire Internet System so that the Great Iranian people cannot talk about the tremendous violence taking place within the country,” Trump tweeted.
“They want ZERO transparency, thinking the world will not find out the death and tragedy that the Iranian Regime is causing!” he wrote.