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Iraq VP accuses Iran of violating Iraqi sovereignty in the Arabian Gulf

AMMAN, JORDAN - NOVEMBER 16: Vice President of Iraq Ayad Allawi speaks during the 10th Amman Security Forum in Amman, Jordan on November 16, 2016. ( Salah Malkawi - Anadolu Agency )

The Iraqi National Accord (INA) political coalition led by Vice President Ayad Allawi has accused Iran of violating Iraq’s sovereignty on its territorial waters over strategic waterways leading to the Arabian Gulf, and has urged the Iraqi government to take action.

The INA said in a statement yesterday that “Iraq’s rights are today in danger after Iran escalated its campaign to acquire further gains [at Iraq’s expense],” adding that the gains coveted by the Iranian regime where both “from the river side of the Shatt Al-Arab or on the sea [boundary].”

The statement also accused Iran of “continuing its advance [on Iraqi territory] at a rapidly quickening pace and against Iraq’s sovereign maritime rights both in the Arabian Gulf and in international waters,” and said that Iran was demanding control and sovereignty over Iraqi ports.

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According to the party, Iraq was at risk of Iranian threats to its “economic, trade and security” interests which, as a result, would lead to the “repeat of scenarios of previous wars and conflicts”.

The INA is here clearly referring to the Iran-Iraq War that began in 1980 and lasted eight years. One of the main reasons behind the war was perceived Iranian encroachment on Iraqi sovereignty and Iranian violations of the maritime border agreed between the two countries in 1975.

At the conclusion of that war, Iran was forced to sign a ceasefire that essentially kept the Tehran theocracy contained within its own borders. However, and since the illegal 2003 invasion of Iraq by the United States and its allies, Iran has since been able to extend its influence and control over not only Iraq, but also Syria, Lebanon and now Yemen.

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The INA further accused other Arabian Gulf countries of being complicit in Iraqi territorial losses due to “their continued silence towards Iranian actions”, and said that Iran’s policy of “choking Iraq and violating the rights of its people and the unity of [the country]” demands a response from the Iraqi government and parliament.

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