Iraq says Iranian troops seize oil well near border 2009-12-19 17:03:53   Print

    BAGHDAD, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- Iraq said the Iranian forces had crossed into Iraq and seized an oil well, confirming that the Iraqi government is diplomatically moving to contain the tension between the two countries, the state-run newspaper of al-Sabah reported Saturday.

    According to the report, the Iraqi Security Council on Friday held an emergency meeting to discuss the Iranian troops' seizure of Iraqi oil well No. 4 from the al-Fakkah oilfield in Maysan province, 370 km southeast of Baghdad.

    "The council stressed that the incident is a violation to Iraq's sovereignty and territories and called upon Iran to pull out its troops from the well No. 4 and take down the Iranian flag from the tower of the well immediately," the paper quoted the government spokesmen Ali al-Dabbagh as saying in a statement.

    The Iraqi government has embarked diplomatic steps with the Iranian side, and had summoned the Iranian ambassador in Baghdad Hassan Kazemi Qomi to inform him about the incident, Dabbagh said in his statement.

    Dabbagh also said that his government called upon Iran "to resolve all the border problems through diplomatic dialogue and avoid the use of military force in order to safeguard our common security and bilateral relations."

    The source from the command of the Iraqi border forces was quoted by the paper as saying that an Iranian force, backed by five tanks, crossed into Iraqi territory late on Thursday and seized oil well No. 4.

    The Iranian troops mounted their flag on the tower of the well and built a wall of sandbags around the site, according to the source, who refused to be named.

    The al-Fakkah oilfield was first drilled by Iraqis in 1979 as part of the Iraqi territories, before the Iraqi-Iranian eight-years war in 1980.

    However, the oilfield is considered a shared one and both Iran and Iraq have the right to pump from it, but the Iraqis consider the well No. 4 theirs.

Special Report: Tension escalates in Iraq

Editor: Lin Zhi
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