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Coll 30/86(3) 'PERSIA. Relations with Iraq: Shatt-el-Arab. Establishment of an International Conservancy Board.' [‎129r] (264/674)

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.


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<$9 Igth Jun , 1959,
and ?iav l> ation Conv ention,
!• By Article II of thu * rotocol annexed to the
Frontier Treaty of July 4th, 1937, between Iraq and Iran,
the Convention mentioned in Article 5 of the Treaty was to
be concluded within one year, if po® 1 idle, from the entry
into force of the Treaty* The Treaty entered into force
on June ^uih. Hit# far neither Iraqnor SfMI has
opened negotiations. The question of prolonging the period
by mutual agreement (os contemplated in Article XI of the
Protocol) now arises*
8. An elaborate draft Convention was prepared last
year by this Ministry in consultation with the Post of Basra
Directorate, but as the Iranian Minister made it clear that
they would never accept an executive Board or Commission for the
fhatt with a British member, that draft has never been
presented for fear that the Iranian Government, while
rejecting the British member, would grasp at the large
powers of control proposed for the Board* Consequently, it
was agreed verbally with the Embassy that the best tactics
for Iraq would be to prepare another Draft Convention on
minlnum lines, i«e* on linos providing for no no re than a
central acyl spry or conmu.tatfv^ comm la ion and leaving
Iraqi arid Iranian waters to be controlled b the Iraqi and
I ran 1 an authorities ac c o r c 1 ng to certain oomia on ruler-. 11
was also thought desirable to present such a draft to the
Iranian Government only towards the end of the year expiring
June 20th, 1939, or only if the Irani® s themselves presented
a draft earlier* This new draft is still under preparation
In c on e ult at ion with the Fort Director sna obviously the
Convention cannot be concluded "before the 20 tn Juno next* As
far as the attitude of Iran is concerned, it is worth nothing
that the present Iranian Foreign Minister thought, at the tl..e

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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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English in Latin script
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Coll 30/86(3) 'PERSIA. Relations with Iraq: Shatt-el-Arab. Establishment of an International Conservancy Board.' [‎129r] (264/674), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/3804, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 13 December 2019]

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