Today, the Ministry of Transport declared that Iraq has not given any land to Iran for the purpose of constructing a railway link between Shalamcheh and Basra. This railway is solely intended for the transportation of passengers. In addition, the Ministry announced that half a kilometer of the border with Iran will be repaired.
The Ministry clarified through a statement received by Shafaq News Agency that Iraq has not ceded any of its lands to Iran for the purpose of extending the railway line or constructing a navigational bridge on the Shatt al-Arab. The statement was in reference to the Shalamcheh-Basra railway link project.
According to the ministry, any rumors about the project being false and just media hype. They claim that some parties are trying to stop the ministry’s strategic projects, and this misinformation is just a part of that plan. The Iraqi State Railways Company is responsible for implementing the project, which was included in the federal government’s budget for 2023. A special budget has also been allocated for it.
According to the ministry, the memorandum of understanding between the Iraqi and Iranian ministries of transport specifies that the Iranian side is responsible for covering the financial expenses related to any disputes in order to ensure the project’s completion. This condition is clearly and explicitly outlined in the third point of the agreement.
According to her, the agreement states that Iraq will handle the building of the railway line, sites, and stations, while Iran will take care of constructing the navigational bridge on the Shatt al-Arab and removing mines over a 16-kilometer stretch in the project. The fourth paragraph shows that Iran will cover the project’s financial expenses and any consequences of expropriations. The memorandum of understanding does not mention any concession or granting of Iraqi lands to Iran.
She emphasized that the transportation sector is focused on the interests of Iraq and its people. The sector does not have the power to give away Iraqi land for the benefit of another country. She also stated that all the lands involved in the project, including those bordering Iran, are considered Iraqi lands. Additionally, they have successfully reclaimed 500 meters of Iraqi land that was previously on the Iranian side.
The ministry has stated that it remains committed to Iraq, its borders, and waters. Its management and employees are deeply patriotic and cannot be surpassed in their dedication to their country.