Amid unrest, Iranian Guard attacks militant group in Iraq

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guards attacked the base of a Kurdish militant group in northern neighboring Iraq on Saturday, state media said, a week after widespread anti-government protests began over the death of a young woman in police custody .

The death of 22-year-old Ms. Mahsa Amini, who died in custody after being arrested by Iran’s morality police, has sparked unrest in Iran’s provinces and the capital, Tehran. Amini’s family is from the Kurdish region of Iran.

IRNA said Guards ground forces fired artillery from positions in Iran’s West Azerbaijan province and attacked a so-called “terrorist group” stationed across the border in Iraq. The report did not elaborate on this.

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IRNA also said some members of a separatist group called the “Komleh” in Iran have been arrested by intelligence agencies, without giving details.

The semi-official Tasnim news agency, which is believed to be close to the Iranian military, quoted the guard’s statement as saying the operation is continuing to ensure border security.

Tasnim added that the attack targeted the bases of Kurdish separatist groups in northern Iraq and took place at 4:00 p.m. local time, inflicting serious damage on them.

The Guard’s attacks were in response to the separatist group’s support for the recent unrest in the country and its attempt to import arms into Iran, the report said.

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State television indicated Saturday that 41 protesters and police officers have been killed since protests erupted last Saturday. He said official statistics are published by the Home Office. According to a tally by The Associated Press, there have been at least 11 deaths on both sides since the protests began after Amini’s funeral.

Iranian authorities have also disrupted or cut internet access to quell the protests and tightened restrictions on popular platforms like Instagram and WhatsApp.

On Monday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that his satellite internet company Starlink would seek permission to operate in Iran. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said it was up to the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control to decide on Starlink’s next steps.

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The US Treasury Department said Friday it is allowing American tech firms to expand their business in Iran, one of the world’s most heavily sanctioned countries, to improve Internet access for the Iranian people.

Iran’s foreign ministry condemned the United States’ move, saying “offers to violate Iran’s sovereignty will not go unanswered.”

Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani tweeted that the US had “nefarious intentions”. He said Washington would “relax communications sanctions while Max Pressure stays in place. Both should provoke instability.”

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