1974–75 Shatt al-Arab conflict The 1974–75 Shatt al-Arab conflict
refers to a major military standoff between Iran
situated around the Shatt al-Arab[Note 1]
—a river which partly flows along the Iran–Iraq border
—during the mid-1970s. The conflict took place over the course of 11 months and resulted in over 1,000 casualties. It was the most significant period of tensions between Iran and Iraq over the Shatt al-Arab waterway in modern times, and the continued border dispute and disagreements over this region both preceding and following the standoff ultimately led to the protracted Iran–Iraq War
in the 1980s.
had repudiated the demarcation line
established in the Persian Gulf
in the Anglo-Ottoman Convention of 1913
, arguing that the Iran–Iraq border
in the Shatt al-Arab
should be demarcated according to the thalweg principle
. The Kingdom of Iraq
, encouraged by Britain
, took Iran
to the League of Nations
in 1934, but the dispute was not resolved. In 1937, Iran and Iraq signed their first official boundary treaty. The treaty established the waterway border on the eastern bank of the river except for a four-mile anchorage zone near Abadan
, which was allotted to Iran and where the border ran along the thalweg. In 1958, the Royal monarchy of Iraq was overthrown by a coup d'etat led by Iraqi leftists and nationalists coup d'état
. 10 years later, in 1968, Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party
took power after leading the coup d'état
, which established the re-establihing the Ba'ath regime in Iraq
. Shortly afterwards, Iran sent a delegation of diplomats to Iraq in 1969, and when the Iraqi government refused to proceed with negotiations over a new treaty, Iran withdrew the treaty of 1937. The Iranian abrogation of the 1937 treaty marked the beginning of a period of acute Iraqi-Iranian tension
that was to last until the Algiers Accords of 1975
From March 1974 to March 1975, Iran
fought border skirmishes over Iran's support of Iraqi Kurds
, who were engaged in an insurgency against the Arab
Iraqi state for secession
and the establishment of a Kurdish state
In 1975, the Iraqis launched a major military offensive into Iran, spearheaded with tank
columns. This incursion was defeated by the Iranians.
Several other attacks took place; however, Iran had the world's fifth most powerful military at the time and easily defeated the Iraqis with its air power
, while continuing to frustrate the Iraqis at home with its arming of Kurdish
separatists, with the help of its then close allies, the United States
. Some 1,000 people died on the course of the 1974–75 clashes in the Shatt al-Arab
region and Iraq was unable to make any progress against Iran.
Consequently, Iraq decided against continuing the conflict, choosing instead to make concessions to Tehran
to end the Kurdish rebellion.
In the 1975 Algiers Agreement, Iraq made territorial concessions—including the Shatt al-Arab waterway—in exchange for normalized relations.
In return for Iraq recognizing that the frontier on the waterway ran along the entire thalweg
as per Iran's argument, the latter ended its support for Iraqi Kurdish guerrillas.
Known in Iran as the Arvand Rud
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- ^ Kutchera, Chris (1979). Le Mouvement national Kurde. Paris. pp. 322–323.
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- ^ "CSP - Major Episodes of Political Violence, 1946-2013". 17 July 2019. Archived from the original on 17 July 2019. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
- ^ Karsh, Efraim The Iran-Iraq War 1980–1988, London: Osprey, 2002 page 8
- ^ a b c d Karsh, Efraim (25 April 2002). The Iran–Iraq War: 1980–1988. Osprey Publishing. pp. 1–8, 12–16, 19–82. ISBN 978-1-84176-371-2.
- ^ a b Ranard, Donald A. (ed.). "History". Iraqis and Their Culture. Archived from the original on 10 January 2011.
- ^ Farrokh, Kaveh (20 December 2011). Iran at War: 1500–1988. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-78096-221-4.
- ^ "CSP - Major Episodes of Political Violence, 1946-2013". Systemicpeace.org. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
- ^ "Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969–1976, Volume XXVII, Iran; Iraq, 1973–1976 - Office of the Historian". history.state.gov. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
- ^ Abadan Archived 2009-08-08 at the Wayback Machine, Sajed, Retrieved on March 16, 2009.
- ^ "Iran-Iraq War | Causes, Summary, Casualties, & Facts". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
- ^ "IRAQ vii. IRAN-IRAQ WAR". Encyclopædia Iranica. 15 December 2006. Archived from the original on 13 September 2017.
Last edited on 23 February 2021, at 13:44
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