Iraqi territorial claims against Iran not to negatively affect relations of two countries

Azerbaijan, Baku, March 11 / Trend , corr. D.Khatinoglu / 

The territorial claims by the Iraqi officials against Iran are the means of pressure on official Teheran, but they will not negatively affect the diplomatic relations of the two countries. 

The Forsign Minister of Iraq Hoshiyar Zibari said in an interview for the Iraqi television Shyargiyya on March 9 that there are "serious problems" between official Baghdad and Teheran in determining borders. Discussions are held between the two countries regarding border problems, especially the problem of status of Arvand River, but yet the sides have not been able to reach an agreement, Zibari said. 

The borders between Iran and Iraq are determined based on the convention, concluded between the two states in 1975 with the mediation of the government of Algeria. When in 1980 Iraq appeared against the Algeria convention and the President Saddam Hussein broke the agreement, the eight years war began between two countries, which resulted in death of one million people. The current President of Iraq said in his interview for the newspaper Alhayat a year ago that the Algeria convention has no importance, after the protest of Iran, he took his words back.

Establishment of a new government in Iraq does not mean the liquidation of the responsibilities of the former government, Alireza Nourizadeh, director of the Centre for Arab-Iranian Studies, told Trend . After the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, the new government declared its respect for contracts, conventions and agreements, signed in the period of Saddam government. 

The Algeria convention was concluded between the Iranian Shah and the then Vice President of Iraq Saddam Hussein with the mediation of the President of Algeria. The agreement determined borders of the two countries and status of Arvand River. After signing agreement, the Shah of Iran ended support for Kurd separatists in Iraq.

The head of the Center for Middle East Studies (Oman, Jordan), Javad Mohammed Hamid, considers that there are serious differences between the government of Iraq and the Kurdish administration. 

"Kurds' territorial claims against Iran contradict the positions of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and official Tehran. Moreover, the Algeria convention was approved by the governments of both countries, the Iraqi Parliament and the UNO," Nourizadeh told Trend in a telephone conversation from London on March 11.

According to Iranian expert Nourizadeh, who works in Great Britain, Iraq's denying the Algeria convention means declaration of war against Iran. But the current Iranian-Iraqi relations demonstrate that official Baghdad has not such a goal.  

Another reason of such a statement made by Zibari having Kurdish origin is that the USA will withdraw its troops from Iraq in 2011 and Iran will try to strengthen its authority in Iraq, Hamid told Trend on March 11. "Acting in this way, Zibari is willing to put pressure on Iran. Discussions on status of Iraq's north regions between the two countries will be held in future. Kurds will try to slacken Iran's position."

Kurds are dissatisfied with the Algeria convention, Nourizadeh said. "Upon the agreement, Iranian Shah (Mohammad Reza Pahlavi) ceased to support Iraqi Kurds in 1975. Their national movement reached a deadlock, Nourizadeh said. So, head of national movement in Iraq Molla Mostafa Barizafi was obliged to hide in Iran." 

Other Iranian expert Rza Tagizade, who works in Great Britain, forecasts that Zibari's territorial claims will lead to serious problems. Territorial claims of Iraq against Iran can promote other Iran's neighbors to appeal with the same claims, Tagizade wrote in his article placed on website of Farda radio station.  

Iran has problems with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) situated in the south of the country due to three islands' status. UAE repeatedly accused Iran of appropriating its territory and the League of Arab States supported position of UAE.

Despite the Kurdish administration's position, Iraq states that has no problems on the border with Iran.

Iran supports Shiite government of Iraq. Prime Minister of Iraq al-Maliki has close diplomatic relations with Iran. Kurdish administration of Iraq is Sunni. Moreover, over one million of Kurds live in Iran. Tehran officials consider separatist groups the Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK) and PKK with headquarters in Iraqi Kurdistan as source of danger for Iran. In 2006-2007 Iranian militants bombarded Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan where headquarters of PJAK and PKK are situated. 

Official Tehran has not reacted to Zibari's statement yet. 

U.Sadikova (Baku) contributed to the article. 

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