TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Iranian and Turkish security officers met yesterday to discuss ways to improve security cooperation between the two neighboring countries at a time when both sides are threatened by terrorist groups stationed in northern Iraq.
The two countries increased the level of cooperation against the PKK as the terrorist organization became a source of threat for Iran that has a considerable number of Kurdish citizens.
The two-days talks will focus on the fight against terrorism and drug, arms and human trafficking, the Turkish Interior Ministry said in a written statement yesterday. The meetings are co-chaired by Iran's Deputy Interior Minister Abbas Mohtaj and Turkish Interior Ministry Undersecretary Osman Gune?.
PEJAK, the PKK's offshoot in Iran, has recently increased its activities, allowing Tehran to seek more cooperation with Turkey that has been fighting against the PKK for close to 25 years.
During the first day of the 12th Iran-Turkey High Security Commission meeting in Ankara on Monday, the two sides sought initiatives against the outlawed separatist PKK and its breakaway faction PEJAK.
PEJAK threatened on Sunday to launch bomb attacks inside Iran.
The two neighboring countries looked at joint measures to deal with separatist threats posed by the PKK and the PEJAK, a PKK offshoot operating in Iran.
The latest meeting of the commission was held in February 2006 in Tehran.
PEJAK based in northern Iraq threatened on Sunday to launch bomb attacks inside Iran. PEJAK warned it has the ability to "carry out bombings against Iranian forces" inside Iran.
Ronahi Ahmed, a member of Pejak's political bureau, told AFP from the group's hideout in Qandil mountain in northern Iraq that the rebels were ready to launch a long fight against Tehran.
"...We have the ability to confront Iran inside Tehran," she said.
Ahmed said the group had recently attacked Iranian forces across the border.
"Last month our people were able to infiltrate Mahkook town in northwest Iran. They killed dozens of Iranian soldiers. In another incident in Iran's Marywan town our guerrillas killed six soldiers," she said.
"Iran should be aware that we have a long arm that can strike at significant places inside Iran, especially in the northwest reaching Tehran."
PEJAK is an anti-Iranian offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a Kurdish rebel movement fighting to carve out an independent state in southeastern Turkey since 1984 in a conflict that has killed more than 37,000 people.
Turkish Armed Forces launched a cross-border ground operation into north of Iraq on February 21st in order to neutralize the outlawed separatist PKK positions stationed within the borders of Kurdish administration in northern Iraq and to destroy organizational infrastructure in the region. On February 29th, Turkish troops returned to bases in Turkey.
The PKK and Ankara's troops fought fierce battles in March inside Iraq after Turkey launched a ground offensive.
Ahmed also warned of a full-scale war with the Islamic Republic, saying, the battle will be more severe and the region where we are staying will be hit by a war".
The United States has labeled PEJAK as a terrorist group but it supports PEJAK in its fight against Iran.
Tehran has long accused the United States of supporting anti-Iranian armed groups, including the PJAK and Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO). Both PJAK and MKO have been enlisted by the European Union and even the US as terrorist groups.
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