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Ottoman jurisdiction shall not extend over the parts of the Persian coast that

may be temporarily covered by water at high tide or by other accidental causes. Persian jurisdiction, on its side, shall not be exercised over lands that may be temporarily or accidentally uncovered when the water is below the normal low-water


T h e S h e i k h o f M u h a m m a r a s h a l l c o n t i n u e t o e n j o y i n c o n f o r m i t y w i t h O t t o m a n (e) 2 laws his rights of ownership in Ottoman territory.

In 1914 the land boundary was demarcated with pillars by a commission consisting of members from Iran, Turkey, Russia, and the United Kingdom.3 The water boundary as then determined by the commission followed the low-water mark on the left (Iranian) bank of the Shatt al Arab with the exception of the Muhammarah area. There the line followed the thalweg of the Shatt al Arab from the Rud-e Karun to the point where the boundary departs the river.

Comprised of the three provinces (vilayet) of Baghdad, Mosul, and Al Basrah, Iraq (generally known in the west as Mesopotamia) was administered by the Ottoman Empire through appointed governors (pasha) answerable directly to the sultan-caliph in Istanbul. British troops were in occupation of Iraq at the end of World War I in 1918, when the Ottoman Empire was dissolved. British occupation forces established an Al Basrah Port Authority the following year with jurisdiction over the Shatt al Arab to the Persian Gulf. Only within harbor limits was pilotage assigned to harbor masters. In October 1920, the United Kingdom received a League of Nations Mandate for Iraq, and on October 3, 1932, Iraq was admitted to the League of Nations as an independent state.

Friction between Iran and Iraq over the boundary question and shipping in the Shatt al Arab culminated in a complaint by Iraq to the League of Nations in 1934. In the debate before the League Council, Iran challenged the validity of the Treaty of Erzurum of 1847 and the Constantinople Protocol of 1913.

Following negotiations in 1937, Iran and Iraq concluded a treaty which reaffirmed the boundary in the Shatt al Arab as established by the Constantinople Protocol and the minutes of the boundary commission of 1914 with the exception of the area adjacent to Abadan. There the line was shifted from the low-water mark to the thalweg as follows:

At the extreme point of the island of Choteit (being approximately latitude 30º17'25" North, longitude 48º19'28" East), the frontier shall run perpendicularly from low water mark to thalweg of the Shatt-el-Arab, and shall follow the same as far as a point



The Shiekh of Muhammarah was the ruling sheikh of part of an Arab Shiah tribe inhabiting this area. In practice, administrative powers were delegated to this sheikh until 1924, when Rez Shah brought the region under the control of the central government in Tehran. The Delimitation Commission of 1914 produced a series of maps of the boundary known as Cartes supplementaires, most of which were at a scale of 1:73,050. Insets or Carte detaillees were included on some of the map sheets.

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