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Iraq Not Told About Iranian Plan For Wall Along Kurdish Region

BAGHDAD -- Iraqi officials say Tehran has not informed Baghdad about Iran's reported intention to build a security wall along its borders with Iraqi Kurdistan, RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq (RFI) reports.

Saad Muttalibi, a political adviser to Iraqi officials and leading member of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's State of Law Coalition, told RFI on July 20 that Iraq has not been officially informed of the construction project, nor has the Iraqi Embassy in Tehran received any official notification.

Muttalibi said the reasons for the construction of the walls are not clear.

Iranian media outlets reported recently that Iranian Interior Minister Mohammed Najar has confirmed the project's existence and given details about it, saying Iran intends to build walls along parts of its borders with Iraq, Turkey, Afghanistan, and Pakistan at a cost of some $150 million.

Khalid al-Assadi, another leading member of the State of Law Coalition, suggested that the wall is intended to stop the activities of organizations working against the Iranian government.

But the London-based newspaper "Asharq al-Awsat" quoted Shirzad Kamanger, a leading member of the Free Life Party of Kurdistan (PJAK), as saying the wall would not affect his organization's activities.

He added that the PJAK has already established a presence inside Iran.

The PJAK is a militant Kurdish nationalist group based in the Qandil Mountains of northern Iraq. Iranian security forces have clashed with Kurdish rebels in northwestern Iran and sometimes across the border in Iraq. Iranian forces have repeatedly shelled the border area in pursuit of guerrillas.