Iran said Wednesday that it has tightened the country’s eastern borders amid reports of a new, self-declared Islamic State group emerging in the region. According to the Iranian government, authorities are reportedly investigating if the new terrorist group is affiliated to ISIS.
Iran’s Deputy Interior Minister Hossein Zolfaqari told the local Fars news agency that the country's security forces are assessing the potential threat from the terrorist group, which calls itself the Islamic State. “A group under the name of Islamic State has declared existence across our borders in the East, and we are now studying this group to see if it is considered as an ISIL group or not,” he said.
Zolfaqari said that the border guards have been reinforced in the east to seal the borders and prevent any possible threat from across its territory.
In December, Zolfaqari had said that full security is deployed in the country’s eastern borders with guards in the region equipped with new optical tools to help them improve their surveillance operations, Fars news agency reported.
On Wednesday, Iran also condemned the killing of Lt. Mu'ath Safi al-Kaseasbeh, the Jordanian pilot captured by ISIS in December. The ISIS released a video earlier this week, claiming it had burned al-Kaseasbeh alive. Jordan had pleaded with ISIS to release the pilot in exchange for a captured terrorist.
Iran's foreign ministry criticized the “inhumane killing of the captive Jordanian pilot by the Terrorist Takfiri groups” as a clear violation of Islamic teachings. The government also emphasized on the need for powerful confrontation and combat against all terrorist groups, Fars news agency reported.
Meanwhile, Jordan launched airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq on Wednesday in retaliation, reportedly killing 55 people, including the group's top commander, known as the “Prince of Nineveh.”
Jordan had also executed al Qaeda prisoners Sajida al-Rishawi and Ziad al-Karbouli on Wednesday, hours after ISIS released a video purportedly showing the Jordanian fighter pilot being burned alive.