Iran Hails Iraq View on Validity of Border Treaty

A00681364.jpgTEHRAN (Fars News Agency) Iran welcomed comments by Iraq that it had not repudiated the 32-year-old border treaty between the two Muslim neighbors.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani’s office said on Thursday the Algiers Treaty was “valid and not void,” after telling journalists on Monday it had been “voided by the current government.”

The treaty was signed in 1975 by Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s then vice president, and Iran’s former Shah and defined the border between the two neighbors.

Talabani’s earlier remarks threatened to reopen a border dispute that caused the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war.

But Talabani’s latest comments were welcomed by Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki.

“We support Talabani’s recent stance that the 1975 treaty between Iran and Iraq is valid,” Mottaki said.

“This view can be a strong basis for Iran and Iraq’s relations.”

Talabani’s earlier comments provoked widespread condemnation from Iran, with many parliamentarians saying a change of government should not damage the credibility of the treaty.

Talabani’s office in its statement said on Thursday that his remarks had not repudiated the treaty but Iraq nonetheless had some “reservations” about it and wanted talks with Iran for an agreement.

Mottaki did not comment about the call for talks.

Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein tore up a copy of the treaty in a televised broadcast five days before his troops invaded Iran in September 1980, starting a bloody eight-year war that ended in a UN-brokered cease-fire in 1988. The two countries have yet to sign a formal peace treaty

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