(Photo Credit: AFP)
On 27 September, the commander of the Iranian border forces, Brigadier General Ahmed Ali Kudarzi confirmed the elimination of seven armed militants near the Azerbaijani border.
Kudarzi stated that the militants were in possession of military equipment including a large number of explosive detonators. The weapons were reportedly seized following clashes between the militants and Iranian armed forces. The general noted that the “detonators were seized during their transfer from the western borders of Iran to the central provinces [Azerbaijan].”
Two days prior to the incident, the public prosecution office in Sari, northern Iran, announced that they detained members of ISIS and armed members of the Komala party, along with 450 people who were arrested during the recent protests in Iran.
On 26 September, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said that the recent rallies were incited by foreign forces, such as the US and Israel, who have encouraged rioters to destabilize the government of the Islamic Republic.
Last week, in a similar incident, Iranian security forces foiled another weapons smuggling attempt near the border with Azerbaijan.
In a statement to IRIB news agency, the commander of Iran’s east Azerbaijan Border Guard corps, Mohammad Ahmadi, announced the arrest of two individuals and the seizure of two vehicles in Khoda Afarin.
Several hand grenades, remote-controlled explosive devices, and handguns, alongside several rifles were confiscated, as well as military attire and cameras.
Earlier in July, Iranian security forces arrested 10 individuals suspected of terror activities in the West Azerbaijan province, northern Iran.
The tense situation between Iran and Azerbaijan has clouded the relationship between the neighboring states and drastically increased the threat to Iran’s fragile security situation in its border provinces.