The authorities in Iran have reported that their border region with Iraq has become calmer, after the heavy fighting of the previous week (8-14 September).
GV Iraqi tanks in border area (4 shots)
CU Files being searched and weapon being handled (2 shots)
SV Wrecked tank
Iraqi troops in border placements (3 shots)
GV Crowds in Teheran carrying coffins through street (2 shots)
GV Crowds being directed through street carrying coffins (2 shots)
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Background: The authorities in Iran have reported that their border region with Iraq has become calmer, after the heavy fighting of the previous week (8-14 September). Reuters news agency reports from Teheran that the Iranian president, Abolhassan Bani-Sadr has pledged his country will recapture the disputed territory which Iraq had seised in a week of fighting on Iran's western frontier.
SYNOPSIS: These are Iraqi tanks in the border zone. Their government claims it has taken control of more than two hundred square kilometres (about square miles) of territory. The Iraqis argue that this land became theirs under the terms of the 1975 Algiers Agreement with the regime of the late Shah.
At first, the Iranian government denied that nay land had been seized. But it later acknowledged it had happened. A Foreign Minster spokesman on Sunday (14 September), however, would not say how much had been taken, because the situation was changing constantly. Reuters said on Monday (15 September) that Iran would not accept any third-party mediation to settle the border dispute. This avowal came as a newspaper in Qatar, on the Gulf. said that Arab and Islamic government were conferring among themselves for a possible joint effort at mediation.
The fighting on the border was the fiercest since the two neighbours had apparently settled their frontier differences five years ago with the agreement. A mass funeral was held in the Iranian capital of Teheran on Tuesday (16 September) for twenty-two Iranians killed in the conflict. They were mourned as martyrs to their country's revolution. Relations between Iran and Iraq have deteriorated since the Iranian Islamic revolutionaries ousted the Shah in January last year.
Religion has played its part in the tensions. Most of the religious leaders in Iraq are Sunni Moslems, but more than half the population are Shi'ites, owing spiritual allegiance to Iranian clergymen, including Ayatollah Khomeini. Iran has accused Iraq of repressing its own Shi'ite population, and of aiding Arab and Kurdish rebels in Iran to fight the revolutionary regime. In return, the Iraqi authorities have blamed what they called "the racist Persian regime" for terrorist attacks in Iraq.