PHOTO: Revolutionary Guards commander Mohammad Pakpour “We will rigorously confront terrorists”

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps maintained their campaign over “terrorism” on Sunday, announcing that they will target the enemy “at any point”.

The commander of IRGC ground forces, Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour, said the Guards are “resolved to rigorously confront moves by armed groups and terrorists in border areas”.

The IRGC and Kurdish insurgents have clashed in northwestern Iran near the border with Iraq. On Saturday, there was fighting in the city of Mahabad in West Azerbaijan Province. Meanwhile, the IRGC announced the killing of five insurgents in Kordestan and West Azerbaijan.

The Guards have also claimed the killing of Baluch insurgents in southeastern Iran near the Pakistan border.

While Pakpour focused on the incidents in the northwest, the IRGC has been pursuing a wider campaign against “terrorism” this month. Last week Iranian officials announced the break-up of “one of the biggest terrorist plots” in the history of the Islamic Republic. They said several suspects had been arrested over plans to set off a series of bombs in Tehran.

The statement has been followed by a series of announcements of the arrests of other “major terrorists”, including Sunday’s declaration of the capture of a member of the Ansar al-Forqan group in the southeast.

On Saturday, the Supreme Leader used the terrorism issue to denounce the US, Saudi Arabia, and other countries, saying that operations in the Islamic Republic and the region “were a prelude to crippling Iran”. However, he asserted, “It was the might of the Islamic Republic that brought them to their knees.”

It is unclear whether the IRGC’s campaign is prompted by a specific escalation of the insurgent threat, by tension over Iran’s involvement in regional crises including those in Iraq and Syria, by the Supreme Leader’s hostility towards the US, or by the continuing crackdown on “sedition” through arrests and intimidation.

Since last autumn, the Guards have stepped up the detention of journalists, artists, and activists, including some foreign nationals who also hold Iranian citizenship.