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Algiers Accord - 1975

March 6, 1975

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In March 1975, subsequent to discussions at an OPEC meeting, Iran and Iraq agreed to meet and negotiate their dispute over borders and water and navigation rights. This meeting resulted in the Algiers accord below, and in a subsequent treaty signed June 13, 1975. The thalweg, meaning the median course of the Shatt-El-Arab waterway, was designated as the border. The agreement caused the Shah of Iran to withdraw Iranian support for the Kurdish rebellion, which thereupon collapsed.

However, the treaty was not honored by either side, resulting in the Iran-Iraq war that began in 1980. The main points of the dispute concerned the Shatt El Arab, a waterway that is Iraq's only outlet to the sea, as well disputed islands and territories. In part, the dispute arose because of the shifting course of the Shatt El Arab. Even after the war, the disputes have not been totally resolved.

Ami Isseroff

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The Algiers Accord
March 6, 1975

During the convocation of the OPEC Summit Conference in the Algerian capital and upon the initiative of President Houari Boumedienne, the Shah of Iran and Saddam Hussein (Vice-Chairman of the Revolution Command Council) met twice and conducted lengthy talks on the relations between Iraq and Iran. These talks, attended by President Houari Boumedienne, were characterized by complete frankness and a sincere will from both parties to reach a final and permanent solution of all problems existing between the two countries in accordance with the principles of territorial integrity, border inviolability and non-interference in internal affairs.

The two High Contracting Parties have decided to:

First: Carry out a final delineation of their land boundaries in accordance with the Constantinople Protocol of 1913 and the Proceedings of the Border Delimitation Commission of 1914.

Second: Demarcate their river boundaries according to the thalweg line.

Third: Accordingly, the two parties shall restore security and mutual confidence along their joint borders. They shall also commit themselves to carry out a strict and effective observation of their joint borders so as to put an end to all infiltrations of a subversive nature wherever they may come from.

Fourth: The two parties have also agreed to consider the aforesaid arrangements as inseparable elements of a comprehensive solution. Consequently, any infringement of one of its components shall naturally contradict the spirit of the Algiers Accord. The two parties shall remain in constant contact with President Houari Boumedienne who shall provide, when necessary, Algeria's brotherly assistance whenever needed in order to apply these resolutions.

The two parties have decided to restore the traditional ties of good neighbourliness and friendship, in particular by eliminating all negative factors in their relations and through constant exchange of views on issues of mutual interest and promotion of mutual co-operation.

The two parties officially declare that the region ought to be secure from any foreign interference.

The Foreign Ministers of Iraq and Iran shall meet in the presence of Algeria's Foreign Minister on 15 March 1975 in Tehran in order to make working arrangements for the Iraqi-Iranian joint commission which was set up to apply the resolutions taken by mutual agreement as specified above. And in accordance with the desire of the two parties, Algeria shall be invited to the meetings of the Iraqi-Iranian joint commission. The commission shall determine its agenda and working procedures and hold meetings if necessary. The meetings shall be alternately held in Baghdad and Tehran.

His Majesty the Shah accepted with pleasure the invitation extended to him by His Excellency President Ahmad Hasan al-Bakr to pay a state visit to Iraq. The date of the visit shall be fixed by mutual agreement.

On the other hand, Saddam Hussein agreed to visit Iran officially at a date to be fixed by the two parties.

HM the Shah of Iran and Saddam Hussein expressed their deep gratitude to President Houari Boumedienne, who, motivated by brotherly sentiments and a spirit of disinterestedness, worked for the establishment of a direct contact between the leaders of the two countries and consequently contributed to reviving a new era in the Iraqi-Iranian relations with a view to achieving the higher interests of the future of the region in question.


Other border problem references:

 Treaty of Peace and Frontiers: The Ottoman Empire and Persia, 17 May 1639
The Treaty of Erzurum, May 31, 1847
The Tehran Protocol, December 21, 1911
Protocol relating to the Delimitation of the Turco-Persian Boundary signed at Constantinople on November 4th (17th), 1913
Frontier Treaty between the Kingdom of Iraq and the Empire of Iran
Treaty concerning the Frontier and Neighbourly relations between Iran and Iraq
Letter dated 14 August 1990 from the President of Iraq to the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran


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