Reuters: Iran said on Sunday it would not renegotiate a 1975 border treaty with Iraq after the Iraqi president caused a political stir in December by saying the treaty was void, a statement he later retracted. TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran said on Sunday it would not renegotiate a 1975 border treaty with Iraq after the Iraqi president caused a political stir in December by saying the treaty was void, a statement he later retracted.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said Iran would not renegotiate the 1975 Algiers border agreement on the day Mahmoud Ahmadinejad began the first visit by an Iranian president to Iraq.
A row over the border and control of the Shatt al-Arab waterway, known as Arvand Rud in Iran, was a factor leading to the Iran-Iraq 1980-88 war that left about a million dead. Iraq said it wanted to discuss the row during Ahmadinejad’s visit.
“They (Iraqi officials) came to Tehran. We had good and constructive talks within the framework of the 1975 treaty about some issues, including border disputes and other issues regarding the river,” Hosseini told a weekly news conference.
“But we had no talks about the treaty and we will not have (such talks),” he said when asked if Ahmadinejad’s trip would involve negotiations about the 1975 agreement.
Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi said on Saturday Iraq wanted to use Ahmadinejad’s visit to resolve long-running disputes including defining their common border.
When Ahmadinejad was asked at the airport if the treaty would be discussed during his two-day trip to Iraq, the Iranian president did not answer.
After the February talks between Iranian and Iraqi officials in February, the two countries agreed to reactivate some of the agreement’s “technical mechanisms”, Iranian media reported without giving details.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani appeared to reopen an old border row in December when he said the 32-year-old Algiers treaty had been “voided by the current government”, a statement he then reversed but said Iraq wanted to negotiate changes.
(Reporting by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Samia Nakhoul)