Islamic State flags flutter on the Mullah Abdullah bridge in southern Kirkuk, Iraq, on Monday..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Iranian Intelligence Minister Seyed Mahmoud Alawi said that while Islamic State, which has proclaimed a caliphate across northern Iraq and Syria, was threatening the national interests of Iran, but his ministry had a handle on the group's plots.
Tehran was aware of the jihadist group's activities and was cooperating with countries battling the group, Alawi told journalists at a press conference in the Iranian capital on Tuesday.
Iran's intelligence community has assisted Iraq and Syria since the advance of Islamic State began.
"The situation in both these countries would be different today, had Iran not intervened," Alawi was quoted as saying by the state's Islamic Republic News Agency.
Iran was assisting all nations directly affected by ISIS, he said, adding that several people affiliated with the radical organization have been detained inside his country (and now face trial), as part of Iran's crackdown on "radical and extremist Shia and Sunni movements."
Alawi said that such extremist groups are seeking to divide Iran, according to IRNA.
ISIS now controls between 20-30 percent of all populated areas in Iraq, according to Britain, which has upped its air strikes against Islamic State-controlled areas.
Iran has long been pressed to join the global fight against Islamic State militants since it shares the same concerns over its rise.
Shifting gears, the intelligence minister blamed the Mossad and other foreign intelligence services for targeting the Islamic Republic. He slammed the Israeli intelligence agency as well as the CIA for constantly spying on Iran's nuclear and military facilities.