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Iraq and Iran sign agreement to strengthen border security

By Ahmed Rasheed

BAGHDAD, March 19 (Reuters) – Iraq and Iran signed a border security agreement on Sunday, a move Baghdad said is primarily aimed at tightening borders with Iraq’s Kurdish region, where Tehran says armed dissident groups pose a threat for your security.

The joint security agreement includes coordination to “protect the common borders between the two countries and consolidate cooperation in various fields of security,” according to a statement from the Iraqi prime minister’s office.

Iranian Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani signed the agreement with Iraqi National Security Adviser Qasim al-Araji in the presence of Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed al-Sudani, the prime minister’s office reported.

“Under the signed security agreement, Iraq commits not to allow armed groups to use its territory in the Iraqi Kurdistan region to launch border attacks against its neighbor Iran,” said an Iraqi security official who attended the signing.

The border came under fire again last year, when the Iranian Revolutionary Guard launched missile and drone strikes against Iranian Kurdish groups based in northern Iraq, accusing them of fomenting protests sparked by the death of a woman. Iranian Kurdish while in police custody.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said in Tehran that “Shamkhani’s current trip to Iraq has been planned for four months and focuses on issues related to armed groups in northern Iraq.” The Islamic Republic of Iran will in no way accept threats from Iraqi territories, he added.

Iran has also accused Kurdish militants of collaborating with arch-enemy Israel and has often raised concerns about the alleged presence of Israel’s Mossad spy agency in the Iraqi Kurdish autonomous region.

Last year, Iran’s intelligence ministry claimed that a sabotage team detained by its security forces were Kurdish militants working for Israel who were planning to blow up a “sensitive” defense industry center in the city of Isfahan.

(Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed and the Dubai staff; writing by Ahmed Rasheed and Ahmed Tolba; editing in Spanish by Carlos Serrano)

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