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Friday, August 5, 2011     FOR YOUR EYES ONLY

Iran-backed Shi'ite militia in Iraq warns Kuwait
to stop port construction

BAGHDAD — An Iranian-sponsored Shi'ite militia has warned against a project along the Kuwaiti-Iraqi border.


Iraq's Hizbullah Brigades has relayed a warning against the construction of a port in southern Kuwait across from Iraq. On July 17, the brigades, trained by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, said the project's prime contractor, based in South Korea, could be targeted.

"We are warning the companies working on the Kuwaiti port against continuing the project," Hizbullah Brigades said. "The Iraqi people will not forget what the government of Kuwait is doing by building a port to strangle Iraq economically."

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In Kuwait, parliament has expressed anger over the threats from Iraq. One leading parliamentarian urged the Gulf Cooperation Council sheikdom to demonstrate firmness against the country that invaded Kuwait in 1990.

"Ever since the days of the monarchy through the days of the Baath party, Iraqis have been the same," Kuwaiti parliamentarian Musalam Al Barak said. "They don't want to acknowledge our borders. We don't need Maliki's permission to build our port."

The brigades warning marked an escalation in tension between Iraq and Kuwait. Iraqi parliamentarians have warned that the Kuwaiti port at Mubarak Al Kabir would hamper the neighboring Iraqi port of Basra, Middle East Newsline reported.

"This indicates Kuwait's recklessness and mockery of the Iraqi people," Iraqi parliamentarian Iskandar Watwat said.

The Mubarak project has been led by South Korea's Hyundai and began in May. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki has complained that Kuwait did not inform Baghdad of the project.

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