Iraq, Iran dispute 1975 border agreement

Dec. 26, 2007 at 2:23 PM
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TEHRAN, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- Iraqi and Iranian officials are in dispute over a 1975 agreement that defined their common border.

While Iraqi President Jalal Talabani rejects the Algiers Accord, most Iranian officials uphold it, the Fars News agency reported. But Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki apparently accepts the accord, at least as a basis for discussion.

The accord set the border at the center of the waterway known as Arvand Rood in Iran and Shatt-al-Arab in Iraq.

A spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry said that Iraqi officials who talked of rejecting the accord are speaking "without legal foundation."

Saddam Hussein and the Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi signed the accord in 1975. In 1980, after the shah had been deposed, Saddam tore up a copy of the document on national television five days before he attacked Iran, launching an eight-year war. Fars said.

"This agreement was between Saddam and the Shah of Iran not between Iran and Iraq. We want good and excellent relations with our Islamic republic neighbor of Iran and we have talked with our brothers Iranians before about it," the Iraqi government Web site reported.

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