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Coll 17/15(2) 'Relations with Persia: Persia-Iraq frontier; Persia's claim in the Shatt-el-Arab' [‎22r] (54/1010)

The record is made up of 1 volume (502 folios). It was created in 21 Feb 1935-15 Jan 1936. It was written in English and French. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.


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Following this recommendation, in view of the repeated statements of the
Iranian Government that it would still have preferred to settle the dispute by
direct negotiation, and in order to mark the sincere desire of Iraq to reach a
solution, I decided to offer, if conditions were favourable, to lead a delegation
myself to Tehran, rather than to invite an Iranian delegation to visit Bagdad, a
course which might have been considered the more normal and appropriate to the
Verbal communications made to the Iraqi Legation to the effect that the
Iranian Government no longer desired to press the Iraqi Government to agree to
a change of boundary, but would be content with practical benefits and advantages
on the Shatt-el-Arab, appeared to have created the necessary favourable
conditions; and on the 5th August I reached Tehran.
Following our preliminary conversations, I was disappointed to receive from
your Excellency, on the morning of the 11th August, a draft Treaty of Friendship
and annexures, which were unacceptable for the principal reasons that—
(1) Article 3 provided for a redefinition of the land boundary only, as
delimited in 1914, and omitted mention of the section of the boundary
from the mouth of the Nehr-el-Kaiin to the sea;
(2) Article 5 attempted to define conditions on the Shatt-el-Arab in such a
manner as to leave the question of sovereignty entirely vague; and
(3) Annexure No. 2, a draft agreement for the administrative conti ol of the
Shatt-el-Arab, was so worded as clearly to imply a change in the
boundary from the left bank to the thalweg, or, rather, the median
In our ensuing conversations I had the honoui to point out that the diafts
were inconsistent, not only with the above-mentioned messages sent through the
Legation, but also with the repeated assurances given by your Excellency, m the
course of our preliminary conversations, that the Iranian Government was not
asking for a change in the boundary on the Shatt-el-Arab. . , ,
I then handed to you on the evening of the 13th August, m the form of a
draft statement of Heads of Agreement, detailed proposals for a series of treaties
or agreements providing for a complete redefinition of the boundary as de inn e
in 1914 and covering the whole range of problems connected with the boundary;
the draft thus constituted the basis of a settlement of the legal question linked
up with a solution of all the practical questions of special interest to one oi
other of our Governments, on the lines recommended by the rapporteur. Your
Excellency informed me that, subject to the omission of specific references to
earlier treaties and agreements, the validity of which the Iranian Governme^
had contested, you were prepared to accept this draft as the basis of negotiations
On the 19th August his Excellency the Prime Minister informed me that
he would be prepared to agree to a redefinition of the whole frontier as delimited
in 1914 from the point of contact with Turkey to the sea, without change, subjec
to the giving of adequate guarantees that the rights and practical bene s
which Iraq was prepared to recognise or concede to ^an m the SbatLe - ^
should be secure in perpetuity and not be liable to be icvo y ^ e fc
act of the Iraqi Government. I promised his Excellency ^
would examine in the most sympathetic spirit any formula which he g
SUSg On tNevZfnl o? th'e KTugust I learned with great regret both from
his Excellency the Prime Minister and from yourself that it had not been l"'' 1 '*!
feasible to suggest an adequate formula and that an a
had seemed on the previous day to be m sight, was °y ta i Nations
Your Excellency is doubtless aware that the Council of the of JN at o
is due to meet on the 4th September, and the Assembly on the 9th September
Several items concerning or of interest to Iraq are on ^ and necessity
my oresence there to held the Iraqi delegation. I am therefore obliged to leave
Pehran on e ^^pointed 1 hat^dui ing the seventeen days that have
elapsed “nee the arrival ofThe delegation to Tehran more substantia progress
has not been made. I still hope that your of
i83&XS o™ SSSUS -fw. fgfBftSia’ESS
which it may be possible for me to accept; but I fear that time will not n
[515 dd—1]

About this item


This volume is a continuation of Collection 17/5, and contains papers regarding negotiations between Persia [Iran] and Iraq at the League of Nations in 1935, mediated by Italian delegate Baron Pompeo Aloisi. The papers primarily consist of communications regarding the negotiations submitted to the Foreign Office by HM Ambassadors at Rome, Teheran and Baghdad, as well as comments by the India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Political Department, the Admiralty, and representatives of the Governments of Persia, Iraq, and Italy.

The negotiations concerned the frontier line along the Shatt el-Arab, the possibility of granting a Persian anchorage at Abadan [Ābādān], the rights of Persian and British warships to traverse and refuel on the river, and the proposed establishment of a Conservancy Board. Following negotiations in Geneva, Rome and Tehran, the Persian and Iraqi Governments had practically agreed on three instruments: a pact of non-aggression, to be signed by Iraq, Persia and Turkey; a treaty for the peaceful settlement of international disputes between Persia and Iraq; and a treaty of friendship, which would settle the frontier question and establish the Conservancy Board.

In addition to the correspondence, the volume contains: documents circulated by the Council of the League of Nations; Reports on the Sessions of the Council submitted to the Foreign Office by C J Edmonds, Second Adviser to the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs; multiple drafts of the treaty of friendship and non-aggression treaties; and copies of notes exchanged by the Iraqi and Persian Ministers at the League of Nations. A number of these documents are written in French.

The volume includes a divider which gives a list of correspondence references contained in the volume by year. This is placed at the end of the correspondence (folio 1).

Extent and format
1 volume (502 folios)

The papers are arranged in rough chronological order from the rear to the front of the volume.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the first folio with 1 and terminates at the last folio with 498; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are located in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio. The foliation sequence does not include the front and back covers, nor does it include the leading and ending flyleaves. An additional foliation sequence is present in parallel between ff 1-498; these numbers are also written in pencil, but are not circled.

Written in
English and French in Latin script
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Coll 17/15(2) 'Relations with Persia: Persia-Iraq frontier; Persia's claim in the Shatt-el-Arab' [‎22r] (54/1010), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2870, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 7 April 2020]

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