Iran: The Enemies Within: While the Islamic Republic Seeks to Expand Its Power across the Middle East, It Is Having to Battle a Series of Insurgencies on Its Periphery That Tehran Claims Are Supported by the United States, Britain and Israel
Blanche, Ed, The Middle East
IRAN IS FIGHTING A STRING OF LOW-LEVEL INSURGENCIES in its border regions which, according to claims from Tehran, are financed and directed by the intelligence services of the US, Britain and Israel.
Taken together, these conflicts are not likely to seriously challenge the clerical regime in Tehran, but the recent deployment of 5,000 Revolutionary Guards in northwestern Iran and a thrust across the border into Iraq against Sunni guerrillas of the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK), Iran's main Kurdish militant group, is proof the insurgencies are worrying Tehran as it faces off against the US and Israel.
Iran claimed a major PJAK base was overrun by the Guards, who have unleashed heavy artillery barrages on the Kurdish-held Qandil mountains. A Guards commander, Brig Gen Abbas Asemi, commander of Qom Province south of Tehran, was killed in one fire fight.
In retaliation, Tehran claims around zoo insurgents have been killed in clashes, air strikes and artillery bombardment. At the same time the Revolutionary Guards have launched a major crackdown on PJAK supporters inside Iranian Kurdistan.
There are other insurgencies by Sunnis in Sistan-Baluchistan in the southeast, where the main armed group known as Jundullah (Soldiers of God) has assassinated a score of top Revolutionary Guards generals; oil-rich and largely Arab Khuzestan Province in the southwest; and, to a lesser extent, in the Azeri region in the northwest that has produced many Iranian leaders.
Only about 51% of Iran's 70 million people are ethnic Persians, although some 90% of the population …
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Publication information: Article title: Iran: The Enemies Within: While the Islamic Republic Seeks to Expand Its Power across the Middle East, It Is Having to Battle a Series of Insurgencies on Its Periphery That Tehran Claims Are Supported by the United States, Britain and Israel. Contributors: Blanche, Ed - Author. Magazine title: The Middle East. Issue: 426 Publication date: October 2011. Page number: 18+. © 2009 IC Publications Ltd. COPYRIGHT 2011 Gale Group.
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