Iran Frees 450 Iraqi Prisoners

Published June 29th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Iran freed late Wednesday 450 Iraqi prisoners-of-war, who were captured during the 1980-1988 war between the two countries, the official IRNA agency reported. 

The prisoners were released at the Khosrawi border post in the western province of Kermanshah, the agency reported. 

The head of Iran's commission for POWs, Asghar Azizi, said the release brought the total number of Iraqi POWs freed in seven stages during the current year to 3,389. 

The release ceremony was attended by a representative of the International Red Crescent, a representative from Iran's Foreign Ministry, members of Iran's POW commission and local officials, the agency reported. 

Iraq says it does not have any Iranian prisoners, explaining that the 400 still in Iraq have told the International Committee for the Red Crescent that they do not want to be repatriated. 

However, Iran says there are still 3,206 prisoners-of-war held in Iraq. 

The continuing dispute over prisoners-of-war is the main issue standing in the way of the two countries' restoring normal relations. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers died in the war - TEHRAN (AFP) 

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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