The commander of the Iranian Army warned on Sunday that “terrorist and heretical forces” are near Iran’s borders and he called for a strengthening of army and Revolutionary Guards forces in the region.

Amir Ahmadreza Pourdastan

Amir Ahmadreza Pourdastan

The Fars News Agency reports that Amir Ahmadreza Pourdastan gave a speech on Sunday May 24 to mark the liberation of Khoramshahr during the Iran-Iraq War, saying: “Terrorist and heretic forces are close to our borders.”

He added that the threat became apparent last year, and since then, army forces have been on high alert to counter their advances.

Last June, it was reported that ISIS forces were within 50 kilometres of the Iranian border, leading some residents of nearby cities to move toward Kermanshah province.

The Iranian army was later deployed at the border, and last fall it was announced that the Iraqi army, with the support of Shia and Kurdish militia, had pushed ISIS forces back from Jelula and Saadia.

The Qods force commander Iraj Soleymani said last February that ISIS planned to “reach Tehran” but Qods forces together with the Iraqi Army had “grounded” them.

Commander Pourdastan said on Sunday that the tracks of ISIS can be seen in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the Iranian Army and Guards should be strengthened and equipped with all necessary weapons to counteract any possible threats.

Pourdastan called on Parliament to approve an appropriate budget for the army with the threat of ISIS in mind.