Coll 30/86(3) 'PERSIA. Relations with Iraq: Shatt-el-Arab. Establishment of an International Conservancy Board.' [75r] (156/674)
The record is made up of 1 file, in 2 parts (329 folios). It was created in 14 Apr 1937-5 Mar 1946. It was written in English. 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.
This transcription is created automatically. It may contain errors.
Conservancy Boafd. (In this context, see P.Z. 5133 / 39 ).
In Article V. of the Frontier Treaty and Article II. of
the Protocol, Iraq, and Iran bound themselves to conclude
a Convention on the Shatt-el~Arab, which should enter
into force by June 1939 , one year after the Treaty came
into force. Failing the conclusion of a Convention, the
legal position would appear to be that each party the
right to administer separately those parts assigned to it
under the Treaty (Iran would be left to administer the
Abadan and labhammerah anchorages!^, and mi ght revive
and as its interest in the Shatt is greater than Iran’s,
it would be to Iraq’s advantage to conclude a Convention
for a Conservancy Board which would establish its position.
An Iraqi-Iranian Board would give Iran, as the stronger
partner, predominance. On the other hand, Iran has already
made it clear that a Tripartite Commission, including a re
presentative of a third Power, i.e., Britain, would be quite
unacceptable if any r&aj powers were assigned to it.
There remains then the third possibility, of concluding a
Convention on minimum lines, i.e., on lines providing
for no more than a Central Advisory or Consultative Com
mittee, and leaving Iraqi and Iranian waters to be controlled
by the Iraqi and Iranian authorities according to certain
common rules. At a meeting held at the Foreign Office on
14th August, a draft for such a Convention was considered
(P.Z. 5133/39^ and P.Z. 4623\ The draft was for a Tri
partite Convention, setting up a Tripartite Board on minimum
lines, and providing for the establishment of an Advisory
Commission consisting of three members, the third member
"who shall be Chairman of the Commission, shall be
As Iraq is weaker than Iran,
About this item
The file concerns the possibility of establishing an international Conservancy Board for the Shatt-el-Arab (also referred to as the Shatt-al-Arab) between the governments of Iraq, Iran (also referred to as Persia), and the United Kingdom.
The board was intended to ensure the efficient maintenance and navigation of the Shatt-al-Arab waterway. The United Kingdom was involved because of the close interests of British shipping in the conservancy of the Shatt-al-Arab.
The papers cover: Perso-Iraqi frontier negotiations; drafts, signing (July 1937), and ratification (June 1938) of the Perso-Iraqi Frontier Treaty; Turkish approval of the frontier negotiations; the signing of the four power non-aggression pact between Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and Afghanistan (the Saad-Abad [Saadabad] Pact), 1937; Abadan anchorage; Foreign Office memoranda and minutes of meetings concerning a convention for the conservancy of the Shatt-al-Arab; the question of British participation in the convention; lighting and buoying; the involvement of Sir John Ward [serving with the Iraqi Government] in the discussions; the opposition of the Iranian Government to British involvement; the involvement of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC); the Port of Basra (including Foreign Office memorandum, folios 77-83); the Rooka Channel; and renewed discussion of the issue in 1945, including the importance of the Shatt-al-Arab for tanker traffic to supply Britain's war needs in the Far East.
The main correspondents are the Foreign Office, the British Ambassador to Iraq, and HM Minister, Tehran.
The French language content of the file consists of approximately twenty folios of diplomatic correspondence and treaties.
There are no papers in the file dated 1941-44.
The file includes a divider, which gives a list of correspondence references contained in the file by year. This is placed at the back of the correspondence.
- Extent and format
- 1 file, in 2 parts (329 folios)
The papers are arranged in approximate chronological order from the rear to the front of the file.
- Physical characteristics
Foliation: this file consists of two physical parts. The foliation sequence commences at the first folio of part one (ff 1-169) and terminates at the last folio of part two (ff 170-329); 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. An additional foliation sequence is present in parallel; these numbers are printed, but are not circled. A previous foliation sequence, which is circled, has been superseded and therefore crossed out. The front and back conservation covers (parts one and two), have not been foliated.
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Coll 30/86(3) 'PERSIA. Relations with Iraq: Shatt-el-Arab. Establishment of an International Conservancy Board.' [75r] (156/674), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/3804, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100047087708.0x00009d> [accessed 26 February 2020]
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