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News number: 9107168080

16:29 | 2013-05-07


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Tripartite Committee Discusses Fate of 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War MIAs in Geneva

TEHRAN (FNA)- The high-level representatives of Iran and Iraq are meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to follow up on the progress and results achieved by a tripartite committee in its efforts to clarify the fate of the MIAs (those missing in action) of 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War.

The three-day meeting of the tripartite committee comprising Iran, Iraq and the ICRC opened in Geneva on Monday. The meeting is presided by ICRC's Deputy Head for Operations Patrick Youssef.

"While the fate of hundreds of Prisoners of War and Persons who disappeared during the Iran-Iraq war has already been determined, which brought relief to their families and enabled them to close a painful chapter in their lives, the families of tens of thousands of other MIAs are still waiting to find out what happened to their beloved ones," Youssef said.

"The committee is still hard at work, but it faces many challenges in its search for human remains in an extremely harsh environment," the ICRC deputy chief added.

At the meeting, the committee reviews the results of seven joint exhumation operations carried out since 2011. It will also seek ways of improving the safety of technical personnel in the field, the quality of the search and recovery work and the speed with which it is conducted.

The tripartite committee, set up by a memorandum of understanding signed in 2008 by Iran, Iraq and the ICRC, addresses the issue of people missing in connection with the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War.

"We are very pleased with what has been achieved by Iran and Iraq, and by the dedication of both," Youssef said, adding, "We remain fully committed to provide all the support needed."

In its capacity as a neutral intermediary, the ICRC is assisting the efforts of the Iranian and Iraqi authorities by helping to repatriate human remains between the two countries, providing training for forensic professionals and supplying specialized equipment for forensic laboratories in both Iran and Iraq.

So far, the efforts and determination of the authorities on both sides have led to the exhumation of around 800 sets of human remains.

Hundreds of thousands of Iranian civilians and soldiers lost their lives in the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war. The bodies of around 7,000 soldiers were never found.

Over the past two decades, the Iranian government has launched various search operations to locate the remains of Iranians and Iraqis who went missing during the war.

The ICRC had pledged to provide financial assistance to Iran to keep the search operations going.