Wire: Iraq Says Iranian Troops Withdrawn from Oil Well, Still in Iraq
Off the Wire:
WASHINGTON, Dec. 20, 2009 -- Newswire services today reported that Iraqi officials say Iranian troops have withdrawn from a disputed oil well on their border, but remain on Iraqi territory.
A government spokesman says the Iranians took down their flag and moved back 50 meters from the well, but still have not returned to their original positions, VOA News reported Sunday.U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Christopher Hill, praised Baghdad's speedy response to the border incursion, saying Iraqis were "not going to be pushed around" by Iran.
Iraqi officials say 11 Iranian soldiers seized the well (Number 4) in the al-Fakkah oil field in Maysan province Friday, and that Iranian soldiers remained there Saturday.
Iran insists the well is in Iranian territory.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told Iranian state media that reports of an Iranian incursion were an attempt to harm relations between Tehran and Baghdad. He also said the two sides will seek a diplomatic solution.
(Report from newswire sources.)