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Back to 1975 and All that: Iran, Iraq, and the Shatt al-Arab

  • 1118 International Affairs Building, Columbia University (map)

A brown bag discussion with Richard Schofield
Department of Geography, King’s College, University of London

The Shatt al-Arab river – which forms the southernmost part of the boundary between Iran and Iraq – has proved one of the most troublesome territorial divides in the Middle East. A boundary definition before 1975 caused many disputes between the two states, while an agreement reached in 1975 was called into question by Iraq as a prelude to its invasion of Iran in 1980. Doubts about the exact status of the river boundary persist today.

Richard Schofield, prominent geographer and expert on the Shatt al-Arab, will discuss this delicate border dispute and explore the degree to which Iraq recommitted itself to the 1975 agreement in the aftermath of its invasion of Kuwait. He will also discuss how resolution of the issue could best serve prospects for economic rejuvenation and reconstruction in the area, and boost regional cooperation between Iran and Iraq.