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News number: 8902191722

18:59 | 2010-05-09

Politics

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Border Guards Confiscate 6 Iraqi Boats for Illegal Entry into Iranian Waters

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian border guard units confiscated 6 Iraqi boats and 12 sailors after they crossed the Iran-Iraq borders and entered Iran's territorial waters illegally.



"Given the full control of (our) border guard forces over Iran-Iraq water borders, the Iranian forces have confiscated six Iraqi boats that had crossed the Iranian territorial waters in Arvand Roud illegally," Yadollah Sharaffi, Iran's Border Guard Commander in the southern port city of Abadan, said in interview with FNA.

He said that the boats had crossed the border lines under the guise of fishery, but were stopped by the border guards and transferred to a coastal jetty of Iran's border guard units.

"12 vessel crews have also been arrested and transferred to the border units' base for investigations," the commander added.

Sharaffi said that his forces will not allow any alien individual to cross borders illegally.

The two countries have long sought to resolve problems pertaining to a shared stretch of water, called Arvand Roud.

Arvand Roud (known as the Shatt al-Arab in Arabic), a strategic 200 kilometers long (120-mile) extension of the Karoun river in Iran and the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Iraq, runs between Iraq and Iran, separating the two countries by a width of 400 to 1,500 meters (437 to 1,640 yards) before flowing into the Persian Gulf.

Technical teams from Iran and Iraq attended a first joint meeting on February 20 in Iran's western city of Qasr-e-Shirin in Kermanshah province to discuss border problems between the two neighboring countries.

Following an introductory meeting in Tehran on February 6 and 7 on Iran-Iraq border disputes attended by the two countries' officials, Tehran's Ambassador to Baghdad Hassan Kazzemi Qomi told FNA, "In this meeting, the needed coordination between the two sides was established."

The envoy also said another joint workgroup would begin its work a few days after the first group to study the conditions of two countries' water borders (the Arvand river).