Nasser Kanaani, the spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, said in a news briefing Monday that the Iraqi government had agreed “to disarm the armed terrorist groups stationed in Iraq’s territory by September 19 and then, evacuate and transfer them from their military bases to camps designated by the Iraqi government”, according to AP.
An Iraqi government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, confirmed the agreement was signed between the two countries and said the central government in Baghdad is “working as quickly as possible” to relocate the groups with the approval of authorities from the Kurdish regional government in Irbil and Sulaimaniyah.
He declined to give the exact location to which the disarmed militants would be moved but said it would be within the Iraqi Kurdish region. He said they “will have a camp to live in and will be without arms”.
The spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry also said that Iran has summoned the chargé d’affaires of the Swiss Embassy over the apparent US seizure of Iranian crude oil from a ship that sat for months off Texas, as the oil now appeared to be moored in Houston. Switzerland has looked out for America’s interests in Iran since the 1979 US Embassy hostage crisis.
Kanaani’s statement marks the latest twist in the saga of the oil once aboard the tanker Suez Rajan, which had become mired in the wider tensions between the US and Iran. That’s even as Tehran and Washington work toward a trade of billions of dollars in frozen Iranian assets in South Korea for the release of five American prisoners held in Tehran.
What can be arguably construed as a step back in Tehran-Washington relations — after two steps forward were taken by signing the deal less than a month ago — is the Friday meeting between the US envoy for Iran Abram Paley with the family of Jamshid Sharmahd, who was convicted of heading a pro-monarchist group accused of a deadly bombing in 2008.
The United States should explain its links to the Iranian-German national Sharmahd sentenced to death in Iran, Tehran’s foreign ministry spokesperson said on Monday, adding that progress had been made in a prisoner swap deal with Washington, Reuters reported.