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Coll 30/86(2) 'Persia. Relations with Iraq. Shatt-el-Arab: Internationalisation of, and establishment of a Conservancy Board.' [‎24r] (58/944)

The record is made up of 1 volume (468 folios). It was created in 23 Dec 1935-22 Apr 1937. 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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on o. .
2 .
sacrifice in ceding it 5 are
guarantees that navigability
entitled to insist on reasonable
of river will be maintained at
present standards.
5. It is not essential however that these guarantees
should be embodied in treaty itself. For instance they could
be embodied in exchange of notes (forming part of treaty
settlement) to general effect that both parties agree that
except daring validity of any later agreement to contrary Iraq
shall have right and duty to dredge in anchorage. Alternative
ly; as pointed out in paragraph 7 (b) of my telegram No* 55,
they could be embodied in eventual conservancy convention
instead of in treaty settlement. T" this proves easier
course, Persian Government should be warned now of intention
of Iraqi Government who otherwise may lay themselves open to
charge of having undertaken to establish conservancy
convention with a mental reservation on an important matter of
4. If second course is adopted provision will still be
necessary for period between conclusion of frontier treaty and
conclusion of conservancy agreement. This could take form of
note from Persian Government asking Iraqi Government to dredge
etc. in anchorage on their behalf until other arrangements are
made and promising full facilities, together with an Iraqi
acknowl edgment <>
5* Rooka Channel. There is admittedly element of logic
in Persian Minister's contention that an agreement about Rooka
channel is irrelevant to confirmation of 1913-1914 instruments,
for any such agreement would in effect be an interpretative
addition to those instruments. Iraqi Government should not,
however, accept this argument as conclusive, since point
derives its importance from fact that Persian officials have

About this item


The file concerns negotiations over a convention to establish a 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 convention had two main objects: (1) to provide for the conservancy of the Shatt-al-Arab (i.e. its maintenance as a navigable waterway adequate to the needs of international shipping); (2) to control the navigation of the Shatt-al-Arab (i.e. to provide all shipping using the waterway with a uniform system of control, administration, and discipline in all matters necessary for safe and efficient shipping). The board was to consist of Iraq and Iran as the two riparian countries concerned, and the United Kingdom as the state owning over 90 per cent of the shipping using the river.

The papers cover: Perso-Iraqi negotiations; the question of British participation in the convention; the views of the Shah of Iran; negotiations over the frontier between Iraq and Iran; dredging dues; the navigation of the river; Persian violations of Iraqi territory; the anchorage at Abadan; draft agreements on the frontier between Iraq and Iran; the Persian refusal to allow Iraq any say over the waters (the Karun) that flowed into the Shatt-al-Arab (e.g. folios 262-264); the interests of the Government of Turkey in the issue; the view of the Foreign Office that a single authority was required in order to achieve unified control over the whole waterway system (folios 245-246); quarantine and police posts; and the Port of Basra (budget estimates, and dues and charges).

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 ten folios of diplomatic correspondence and treaty drafts.

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 volume (468 folios)

The papers are arranged in approximate chronological order from the rear to the front of the file.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence for this description commences at the first folio with 1, and terminates at the last folio with 464; 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 front and back covers, along with the two leading and two ending flyleaves have not been foliated. A previous foliation sequence, which is present between ff 291-464 and is also circled, has been superseded and therefore crossed out.

Written in
English and French in Latin script
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Coll 30/86(2) 'Persia. Relations with Iraq. Shatt-el-Arab: Internationalisation of, and establishment of a Conservancy Board.' [‎24r] (58/944), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/3803, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 15 November 2019]

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