Iraq agreed on Tuesday to an Iranian proposal to exchange all sick and wounded prisoners of war in the first concrete result of U.N. mediation since a ceasefire in the Gulf war took effect in August.

An Iraqi communique said the government was ready to start immediately the repatriation of all sick and wounded prisoners identified by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).The atmosphere in the Gulf talks, begun Aug. 25, had deteriorated as Aziz and Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati had spent increasingly long bargaining sessions without being able to report progress toward cementing a peace.