Iran, Iraq to Exchange 750 POWs This Week
Iran and Iraq will exchange 750 detainees and POWs in the course of this week, committee chief for Iranian POWs affairs Brigadier Abdullah Najafi told reporters in Tehran Sunday. "Fifty Iranians, in detention by Iraq since the end of hostilities between Iran and Iraq in 1988, charged with illegally crossing the border by Iraq, will be freed," he said adding that 700 Iraqi POWs held in Iran during the eight-year Iran-Iraq war will be reciprocally released.
Meanwhile, he noted that "the death of 500 Iranian POWs held in Iraqi detention has been confirmed" and their names would be announced at a later date. "So far the fate of 97 percent of POWs on both sides has been made clear," Najafi said, voicing hope that the same would happen to the remaining three percent (3,000 POWs).
The decision to exchange POWs comes in the wake of a ten-day visit to Iraq by the advisor to the Iranian president, Amir Zamani, who earlier had said that "a political will on both sides brought about the exchange."
The two countries have so far exchanged about 100,000 POWs since the end of the war between them 13 years ago, of whom 60,000 were Iraqis and 40,000 Iranians. (Albawaba.com)