Iranian Shelling of Bardazardan Region

The Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has started shelling a region called Bardazardan in eastern (Iranian) Kurdistan. Following the presence of PDKI’s Peshmerga Forces in the border area between Southern (Iraqi) and Eastern Kurdistan, the Iranian regime has amassed its forces on the eastern side of the border. Bardazardan is close to the Kurdish city of Piranshahr.

The PDKI’s Peshmerga Forces have a presence in several places along the border. For more than two months PDKI’s Peshmerga Forces have re-established a presence on the border area. From the mid-1980s to the beginning of 90s, PDKI had several bases and more than 10,000 Peshmergas in the area.

Iranian officials have largely remained silent on the presence of PDKI’s Peshmerga Forces on the border. Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, said recently that the Islamic regime has ”strategic patience” in response to the presence of PDKI’s Peshmerga Forces on the border.

Analysts claim that the Islamic Republic of Iran is keen to be perceived as an “Island of stability” in a region of instability. The Islamic Republic’s lobby in the United States and Europe has been propagating this as well. The Iranian regime’s lobby makes a concerted effort to convince the Western powers to accept Iran’s idea of a new “regional security architecture”.

The idea is basically to convince the Western powers to accept Iran as the dominant regional power at the expense of other regional states. The presence of PDKI’s Peshmerga Forces on the borders, as well as the recent case of popular uprising in the Kurdish city of Mahabad, could undermine these efforts by the Islamic Republic and its lobby.

This is the reason why Iranian officials have remained silent, analysts say. Iranian actions, however, indicate that the regime is rather nervous. Aside from amassing troops on the eastern side of border and the recent shelling of Bardazardan, the Iranian regime has for some time embarked on a propaganda campaign against PDKI’s Peshmerga Forces.

Iranian media outlets and its agents are portraying the Peshmerga Forces as “anti-Muslim force supported by Israel and the United States.” The Iranian regime has also sent an IRGC battalion headed by Sabir Karimi to Mount Shaho following the killing of six members of the guards in the area. No clashes have been reported thus far.