The Iranian government said Saturday that an oil field that its troops occupied a day earlier was on its side of the border with Iraq, despite Iraqi claims to the contrary.
A group of about 11 Iranian soldiers seized a portion of the remote Fakka oil field in Maysan Province in southeastern Iraq early Friday, according to Iraq.
Government officials in Baghdad said they had summoned the Iranian ambassador to protest the military action, but diplomatic efforts had so far failed to resolve the dispute. [continued…]
Iraq deployed security forces Saturday near a remote oil well seized by Iran, officials said, and its government pressed Tehran to withdraw its forces from the area along their disputed southern border.
U.S. officials applauded Iraq for standing its ground against Iran — an uneasy ally that analysts said was aiming to remind its neighbor of its economic and political pull in its takeover of the oil well Thursday. The site is located in one of the largest oil fields in Iraq and has about 1.5 billion barrels in reserves.
The standoff was a dramatic display of the occasionally tense relations between the two oil-rich nations that fought an eight-year war in the 1980s but now share common ground in Shiite-led governments. [continued…]