Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli announced that the country has detained a number of Afghan and Pakistani nationals on their way to join the Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq.
Speaking to reporters in Tehran on the sidelines of a forum of deputy governors, Rahmani Fazli rejected media reports that the IS is recruiting forces in Iran, and said Iran is well aware of the group's plans for Iran and other regional countries, Fars news agency reported on Sept. 8.
"The group has extensive plans and based on our documents, they planned to make an aggression against our country and other countries, but Iran is so powerful that such a small group cannot make any aggression against it," he said.
"Of course, in certain cases, there have been some Afghans and Pakistanis who intended to pass through the Islamic Republic of Iran's borders (to join the IS), but we have prevented their entrance or transit through our borders and have made some arrests in this regard as well," he added.
The minister said the IS has sought to recruit Iranians through propaganda on the Internet and even contacted a number of people, but failed.
Stressing the high preparedness and vigilance of the Iranian security forces and border residents against the threats of the group, he said, "The Iranian security forces are in full control, while the terrorist group is being defeated on Iraq's soil."
Armed groups linked to the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, have captured large amounts of territory in Iraq in recent months, forcing thousands of Iraqis including Turkmen, Arabs and Ezidis to flee.