Oil well, on Iran's side of border: official

14:01, December 21, 2009      

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An Iraqi soldier takes up a sentry point overlooking one of Fakka wells near Amara, 300 km (186 miles) southeast of Baghdad, December 19, 2009. Iraq's oil industry will not be affected by a reported cross-border incursion by Iranian troops, which Iran denies, the government spokesman said on Saturday. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Iran's armed forces have rejected claims that they have taken control of an oil well within Iraqi borders, stressing that the well in question is in Iran, the local English language satellite Press TV reported on Sunday.

"Based on internationally recognized borders, the disputed oil well belongs to Iran as it is on Iran's soil," a spokesman for Iran's Armed Forces Headquarters, whose name was not publicized, told Press TV, adding that "Iran's troops have not crossed over into Iraq."

Some Iraqi and Western media reported Friday that Iranian forces had crossed into Iraq and seized the No. 4 oil well from the al-Fakkah oilfield in Iraq's Maysan province.

Iraq's state-run al-Sabah newspaper on Saturday quoted the government spokesmen Ali al-Dabbagh as saying that the Iraqi Security Council has "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."

It was a "completely false report issued in line with the propaganda campaign that foreign media have launched against Iran," the Iranian spokesman for Armed Forces Headquarters added.

An Iranian border official said Sunday that his country's forces have resumed their former position after taking down a barricade recently built by Iraqi soldiers near a disputed oil well.

"Iran's forces returned to their previous posts ... after removing the new barricade that Iraqi soldiers had built next to the disputed oil well," the border official who was speaking on condition of anonymity told Press TV's correspondent.

"Iraqi forces had erected, the now disassembled, barricade next to the No. 4 oil well in al-Fakkah," said the official.

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 now 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.

Source: Xinhua
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