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Landmines in Iran

1997

2 Feb '97 - Iran cleared 7,600 square km (2,900 square miles) of landmines in six months last year, an army general said on Sunday. Brigadier General Rahim Ebrahimi, a ground forces officer, told the official Islamic Republic News Agency the mines were cleared during the first half of the Iranian year which began on March 20.

He said an additional 18,350 square km (7,080 square miles) would be cleared of mines and explosives in coming month. Cleared areas would be ceded to farmers for livestock breeding and cultivation. More than 2.141 million anti-personnel landmines and 548,000 anti-tank mines had been defused and collected in the area, the general said.

An Iranian official said last August that the armed forces had cleared more than a third of 16 million Iraqi landmines left over from the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war. Scores of villagers and shepards are killed or wounded each year by mines and other explosives left over from the war. (Source: Reuter)

Overview

Jan. 96 - Iran is severely affected by 16 million land mines laid during the Iran-Iraq war. In Jul. 95 Mr. Javad Zarif, Deputy Foreign Minister of Iran, reported to the International Meeting on Mine Clearance that Iran was burdened with 16 million mines, of which only 200,000 have been cleared and 5.2 million munitions neutralized in six years. The eight year conflict with Iraq left the southern provinces with a land mine problem on the scale of a major epidemic. There have been many thousands of civilian casualties. The Russian occupation of Afghanistan, and resulting unrest, left Iran's border with that country similarly mined. The Persian Gulf is littered with floating sea mines.

Casualties

20 August 96 - Land mines estimated to number between 10-20 million are believed to remain laid in the northern governates with Iran. The mines continue to claim lives and maim thousands of people. There were over 6,000 mines victims between 1991-95 of which 2,144 were fatalities. (Source: UN)

Locations

21 July '97 - Iran estimates that 16 million landmines and tens of millions of UXOs contaminate four million hectares of land in the Khuzestan, Ilam, Bakhtaran, Kordestan and Azearbayjan - E. Bakhtari provinces bordering Iraq. (Source: UN)

Number of Mines

16 million. Figure provided by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Country Statistics

Anti-tank
Anti-personel
Total
Existing mines:
4,000,000
12,000,000
16,000,000
Cleared mines:
200,000

Demining Capacity

Iran reports that lack of maps and equipment has slowed down clearance efforts and led to casualties among deminers.

International

Anti-Personel Mine Policies:

Known AP mine producer and exporter. [HRW 06/96] Ottawa Group Signatory. Voted 'YES' in First Committee on UNGA Resolution 51/45 S [ref. 12/10/96] Iran requires an adequate substitute before banning AP mines. [ref. 01/21/97] If a ban is to be agreed upon, Iran puts great emphasis on the transfer of technology and the facilitation of demining. [12/02/97] (Source: Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Inhumane Weapons Convention

Non-signatory

Moratorium on the export of anti-personnel mines

No

Joined International Campaign to Ban Landmines

No