By Ali Jawad
Iraq and Iran have exchanged the remains of 50 soldiers killed during the devastating eight-year war that ravaged both countries from 1980 to 1988, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) announced Wednesday.
The exchange was conducted at the Zurbatiyah border crossing in Iraq’s southern Wasit province, according to the ICRC, which oversaw the exchange process.
The remains of 46 Iranian soldiers were handed over to Iranian officials in the exchange, which was attended by officials from both sides, while the remains of four Iraqi soldiers were handed over to Baghdad.
Previous exchanges of war dead were carried out at the Shalamcheh border crossing in Iraq’s southern Basra province.
Following the 1979 ouster of Iran’s Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the two countries fought a devastating conflict that left an estimated one million people dead and caused some $1 trillion in economic losses.
Relations between Baghdad and Tehran improved after the overthrow of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein regime following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
Since then, the two countries have organized several exchanges of war dead under agreements brokered by the ICRC.