People, Environment

Iran, Iraq Serious About Tackling Environmental Issues

Iran, Iraq Serious About Tackling Environmental IssuesIran, Iraq Serious About Tackling Environmental Issues

According to Iraqi Minister of Environment Qutaiaba al-Jabouri, Iran and Iraq are committed to fighting dust storms and curbing their impact on people and the environment.

To that end, the ministry has devised long-term, comprehensive plans, al-Jabouri told ILNA.

“Both Iraq and Iran are challenged by dust storms and in both countries people in affected regions suffer from respiratory difficulties,” he said.

Another common challenge between the neighboring countries is water shortage, and discussions have been held between Iranian and Iraqi officials to find solutions.

Among the major issues to be discussed are watershed and source of the Arvandroud river (Shatt al-Arab in Iraq) that is formed by confluence of the Euphrates and the Tigris in the town of al-Qurnah in southern Iraq.

According to the 1975 Algiers Declaration, Arvandroud was agreed to serve as a border between Iran and Iraq to end the dispute between the two countries. The river has peculiarities of its own, including bed-shifts and seasonal floods, that displace the river’s thalweg, which is the line of the lowest elevation within the river. This is significant because disputed river borders are often deemed to run along the river’s thalweg.

Arvandroud’s seasonal shifts affect a number of border villages where less privileged people live. Iraq hopes to alleviate the problems of the border villages in cooperation with Iran.