News On Iran & Its NeighboursIraqIraqi farmers block Iran border post

Iraqi farmers block Iran border post

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AFP: Dozens of Iraqi farmers on Sunday blocked a border crossing with Iran in protest at its diversion of a river which helps to irrigate one of their country’s main agricultural regions.

KHANAQIN, Iraq (AFP) — Dozens of Iraqi farmers on Sunday blocked a border crossing with Iran in protest at its diversion of a river which helps to irrigate one of their country’s main agricultural regions.

The protesters blocked the entry of nine busloads of Iranian pilgrims from the border post of Munzuria, 200 kilometres (125 miles) east of Baghdad, an AFP journalist said.

“The protesters prevented 360 pilgrims from entering Iraq and distributed leaflets stating that the drying of the Al-Wind river is a mortal blow to the environment,” said Mohammed Othman, major of the nearby town of Khanaqin.

“Cutting water is a crime against life,” said the mayor, whose town was a key military post in the 1980-1988 war between Iran and Iraq.

The 50-kilometre (31-mile) river flows from Iran and joins the Diyala river, one of five major tributaries of the Tigris. Diyala province is the breadbasket of Iraq.

Hundreds of Iranian Shiite pilgrims pass through the border post each day headed for shrines in the Iraqi cities of Samarra, Karbala and Najaf.

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