Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, after a meeting with his Iraqi counterpart, stressed that Tehran’s relations with Baghdad is cordial and based on mutual respect.
Those who want to benefit from damaging Iran and Iraq relations will fail, Mottaki said after a meeting with Iraq’s Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari in Baghdad.
Mottaki’s remarks came in response to the recent hype by some American and Arab media outlets which claimed that Iranian soldiers had crossed into the Iraqi territory and seized an Iraqi oil field.
Iran rejected claims that its armed forces had taken control of the oil well within Iraqi borders, stressing that the well in question is not located on Iraqi soil.
The Fakkeh oil field is one of the many joint fields that Iran shares with Iraq. Iranian and Iraqi oil officials have concluded agreements over the past months to develop joint wells including Paydar, Paydar-Gharb, Naftshahr, Azar, Dehloran and Azadegan. The two countries have recently agreed to set up an arbitration commission to clear up the misunderstanding over the borderline well.
Mottaki went on to say that Tehran and Baghdad will hold talks on border demarcations from next week.
"There will be a meeting within a week between the two countries about the borders," Mottaki told a news conference in the Iraqi capital.
He noted that Iranian forces are stationed in "their original places" at the border, adding that the oil field offered an "opportunity for joint investment."
"The border forces of the two countries returned to their places and after the meetings of the technical committees … everything will revert back to normal," Mottaki added.
On his part, Iraq’s Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari emphasized that Baghdad is determined to expand its ties with Tehran.
He added that Tehran and Baghdad agreed to "normalize border conditions and put back things as they were."
Regarding the Iraq-based terrorist Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO), Zebari said Baghdad has no tolerance for any armed group using Iraqi soil to attack Iraq’s neighbors.
He added that Baghdad has taken a series of measures to promote its sovereignty over Camp Ashraf, where the terrorists are based.
The MKO has been blacklisted as a terrorist organization by many international organizations and countries including the United States. The terrorist group targeted Iranian government officials and civilians in Iran and abroad in the early 1980s. The group also attempted an unsuccessful invasion of Iran in the last days of the Iraq-Iran war in 1988.
The MKO was also involved in the massacre of Iraqis under the Ba’athist regime of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
Mottaki is scheduled to meet with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and other senior leaders during his one-day visit to Baghdad.