Reuters: An Iraqi delegation arrived in Iran on Monday to discuss the Algiers agreement which defines their common border, Iran’s students news agency ISNA reported. TEHRAN (Reuters) – An Iraqi delegation arrived in Iran on Monday to discuss the Algiers agreement which defines their common border, Iran’s students news agency ISNA reported.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani appeared to be reopening an old border dispute in December when he said that the 32-year-old treaty had been “voided by the current government”.
Three days later he reversed his comments, saying the treaty was still valid but that Iraq would like to negotiate changes in it. Iran welcomed his revised comments, but has repeatedly said Tehran has no intention of discussing changes to the treaty.
ISNA reported that “the visiting Iraqi delegation will discuss ways of implementing the 1975 Algiers treaty,” and said the two sides would also discuss “clearing thousands of mines from the Shatt al-Arab waterway” between the two countries.
The agreement defining the Iran-Iraq border was signed in the Algerian capital in 1975 by Iraq’s then-Vice President Saddam Hussein and the Shah of Iran.
In September 1980, the eight-year Iran-Iraq war was triggered by a quarrel over the strategic Shatt al-Arab waterway and became one of the deadliest conflicts in Middle East history.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will visit Iraq in March, the first official visit to Iraq by an Iranian leader since the 1979 Iranian revolution that overthrew the Shah.
Both Talabani and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki have visited Iran.
(Writing by Parisa Hafezi, Editing by Tim Pearce)