Iran, Turkey to Cement Joint Campaign against Terrorism

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran is fighting the PJAK, a PKK offshoot operating in 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.

The latest round of the commission meetings at the undersecretary level was held back in February 2006 in Tehran. The upcoming five-day meeting will kick off on Monday, also marking the first senior-level meeting in the security field between Iranian and Turkish officials following an eight-day ground incursion by the Turkish military into northern Iraq in order to eliminate the PKK members based there, Today’s Zaman said.

The eight-member Iranian delegation, led by a deputy interior minister, is expected to arrive in Ankara tomorrow. The Turkish delegation will be led by Interior Ministry Undersecretary Osman Gunes, with senior officials from the police department, the National Intelligence Organization (MIT), the Gendarmerie Command and the Foreign Ministry participating in the meeting.

The Turkish military launched a ground offensive against the PKK in northern Iraq on Feb. 21 and announced that it had destroyed dozens of PKK targets and killed at least 240 terrorists before the operation was called off on Feb. 29.

Turkey carried out several cross-border operations against the PKK after Parliament gave the government authorization in October for sending troops into Iraq to fight the terrorist organization.

The ground incursion in late February was the only confirmed ground incursion during this period. It was also the first of its kind since the US-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq in 2003.

Iran is fighting the PJAK, a PKK offshoot operating in 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.

The PKK is also considered a terrorist organization by a large majority of the international community, including the European Union and the United States. US officials have repeatedly stressed that Washington considers both the PKK and the PJAK to be terrorist organizations, saying the US would not get involved in any kind of contact or relations with terrorists. But, PJAK and MKO members arrested by Iranian troops have said that the US provides information, weapons and financial supports for the two terrorist groups

Fars News, Tehran, April 13, 2008 –

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=8701240561

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