Debate is raging in Iran regarding the issue of claiming reparations from Iraq in relation to the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.
Earlier this month, a member of the Majlis (the Iranian parliament), Eivaz Heidarpour, who is also a member of Iran's National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said that Iran could claim compensation from Iraq amounting to $1 trillion.
But this week a senior member of Iran's Islamic Consultative Assembly has said that the time for addressing the issue of reparations relating to the Iraq-Iran war is over.
Seid Kazem Delkhosh told AKnews that the time has passed for discussion about the eight years of war between Iraq and Iran; the subject should have been discussed and finalised long ago.
Ali Alaq, the chief secretary of the Iraqi council of ministers told the Arabic Al-Sabah daily on Tuesday that if the Iranian authorities demanded compensation from the Iraqis for war damages, "which is an illogical request", Iraq could also appeal for compensation from Iran.
He underlined that the Iraqi government needs to review its foreign policy in order to define a policy for compensation claims for damages the country incurred, is suffering, or may endure in the future.
This revision may help to get back a portion of the compensation due and to reimburse some of the debts Iraq has accumulated, "but this is feasible only when the political parties in Iraq all cooperate," Alaq continued.
Delkhosh said that Iran and Iraq, as two Muslim counties with Sunni and Shia populations are sympathetic to each other and it was the opponents of the two nations who inflicted the war on them as neither the Iraqis nor the Iranians supported it.
Iraq invaded Iran on 22 September 1980, triggering a bitter eight-year war which destabilized the region and devastated both countries.
A territorial dispute over the Shatt al-Arab, the waterway which forms the boundary between the two countries led to the outbreak of the war.
Iraq has so far paid off $30.1 billion of its $52.4 billion reparations debt to Kuwait, relating to its invasion of the country in 1991.
(Source: Tehran Times, AKnews, UN Compensation Commission)
(Photo: the disputed Shatt al-Arab waterway)