Policies Vary and Grudges Agree

Ottoman government officially recognizes full sovereignty of the Persian government over the city of Muhammarah and its port, Al-Khader Island (Abadan) and its anchor and the lands on the eastern bank, i.e., the left bank, of Shatt Al-Arab, which is at the disposal of clans recognized as belonging to Persia. In addition, Persian ships are entitled to navigate in the aforementioned river with complete freedom from the place where Shatt al-Arab estuaries in the sea to the point of connection of the borders between both sides.

Shatt al-Arab agreement and disagreement…

In 1937 AD, the first treaty was signed between Iran and modern Iraqi state to demarcate the borders between both states, based on previous treaties between the Ottoman and Persian states.

The first demarcation of the borders between Iraq and Iran dates back to a long time preceding even the Treaty of Westphalia, which laid the foundations of international law in 1648 AD when an Ottoman-Persian agreement was signed in the name of “Zohab” treaty, on 17 May 1639 AD, which is the peace treaty and the demarcation of the borders between the Ottoman and Persian states.

This treaty was preceded by another treaty between both states, which was a military treaty to stop the fighting between bot sides, known as the Treaty of “Amasya” in 1555 AD.

Then interest in the borders in the Shatt al-Arab region began in the forties of the nineteenth century, with the increasing influence of Sheikh of Muhammarah in this region in that region, where the Ottomans and Persians disputed over sovereignty over these areas inhabited by Arab clans.

The second Erzurum Agreement, which was signed on 31 May 1847 AD between the Ottoman and Persian governments, with the mediation of the major powers at the time, Britain and Russia, defined for the first time the borders in Shatt al-Arab, which were described in general terms without precise specification.

When the Persian government conceded to the Ottoman-Turkish government its claim to the city of Sulaymaniyah, along with all lowlands; i.e., the lands in the western part of Zab region, this was in exchange for its sovereignty over the areas of Muhammarah and the eastern bank of the river.

In that agreement, a paragraph pertaining to Shatt al-Arab was shrouded in ambiguity and it was at the disposal of clans whose affiliation with Persia is recognized. In addition, Persian ships are entitled to navigate the aforementioned river with complete freedom from the place of Shatt al-Arab mouth in the sea to the point of contact between both sides.

So, is he Arabic or Turkish Persian?

The dispute remained between the Turkish and Persian representatives in the treaty committee over the interpretation of the second paragraph, until the British representative in the committee, Colonel Williams, was forced in 1850 to draw a border line that reflects as accurately as possible what this paragraph referred to. The border line was drawn along the eastern bank of Shatt al-Arab from its point of contact with the “new” canal in the north to the waters of the Arabian Gulf in the south.

The dispute remained between both governments until the end of the following year, when they agreed to respect the border line drawn by Colonel Williams on provisional grounds, while maintaining the status quo.

The treaty and other agreements did not prevent the outbreak of wars, frictions and various abuses between both sides until November 1911 AD, when an opportunity arose through which Britain and Tsarist Russia mediated after the deterioration of relations between the Persians and the Ottomans again. They succeeded in concluding a new agreement known as Tehran Agreement, which stipulated the formation of a joint committee comprising Britain and Tsarist Russia, as well as both states, in order to discuss the border dispute between them.

After the establishment of the modern Iraqi state in 1921 AD under the British Mandate, the Persian state refused to recognize it for eight years. At that stage, Iran was also undergoing a state of political transformation as Reza Shah Pahlavi, who was the commander of the Persian Cossacks during Qajar state and Minister of Defense, dissolved the government and appointed himself prime minister until 1925 AD, when he deposed the last of the Qajar Shahs, declaring himself a new shah and at the head of a new dynasty that ruled Iran; Pahlavi dynasty.

In 1932 AD, the King of Iraq at the time, Faisal Fares, accompanied by his Prime Minister Nuri Al-Saeed, visited Iran. A statement was issued on the visit calling for negotiations to resolve border disputes between both states.

On 18 July 1937, the first friendship treaty was signed between Iraq and Iran and the name of Persia was changed to Iran in 1934 AD, followed by signing another agreement to resolve the differences between both sides by peaceful means.

toxic relations, wrapped in national grudges against the Arabs, continue.