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Land Mines From Iraq War Continue to Plague Iran

Though there is a lack of official data, Iran remains the second-most mine-polluted country in the world, with eradication no simple task.
A member of the Iraqi Mine and Unexploded Ordnance Clearance Organization (IMCO) works with a sniffer dog to find mines in the Shatt-al-Arab district, in Iraq's southern city of Basra, November 6, 2012. Decades of war have left Iraq with one of the worst mine problems in the world, according to UNICEF, with around 20 million anti-personnel mines and more than 50 million cluster bombs believed to be left over in border areas and southern oilfields. Iraq's Environment Ministry says there are 25 million landmi

Iran is the second-most mine-polluted country in the world. On Aug. 30, Iranian Students’ News Agency acknowledged a UN report which stated that 16 million mines remain planted in Iranian soil. The number of land mine victims has never been officially released by Iran's Mine Action Center (IRMAC), but unofficial statistics point to one person being maimed or killed every day.

There are many reasons why Iran has been unable to remove its land mines. In addition to sanctions and Iran’s domestic issues with NGOs, there appears to be, 23 years after the Iran-Iraq war, self-defense reasons why Iran has been slow to remove land mines from its borders.

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