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Commerce returns to Iran-Iraq waterway

Mohamad Ali Harissi reports for AFP::

Commercial traffic has resumed on the strategic Shatt al-Arab waterway after a three-decade break with the official opening of a port for oil giant Shell, an Iraqi official said on Tuesday.

Part of the 200-kilometre-long (120 miles) waterway forms a section of the border with Iran. An unresolved boundary dispute was a major reason for the 1980-1988 war between Iraq and Iran that resulted in the waterway's closure.

"The Shatt al-Arab is reborn again after being closed for 31 years," Mehdi Badah Hussein, head of a joint committee to develop Majnoon oil field, told AFP at a ceremony to open the port.

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