British-Iranian dispute enmeshed in tangled history
For all the possible political motives...the main cause of the showdown could be a centuries-old dispute over the water border between Iran and Iraq.
It began with the 1639 Treaty of Zuhab between the Persian and Ottoman empires, which divided the land without a careful survey.
Disagreements through the 1980s, and some of the fiercest fighting in the eight-year war between the two nations occurred along this border.
The Associated Press quotes Lawrence G. Potter, an associate professor of international affairs at Columbia University, who says that even to this day the exact demarcation has not been established.
"The problem is that nobody knows where the border is," Potter said."The British might have thought they were on their side, the Iranians might have thought they were on their side."
Map: Shatt al-Arab waterway (requires Flash)
comments powered by Disqus
- Climate of Change: The Catholic Church's Dance With Science
- Sacrificed Humans Discovered Among Prehistoric Tombs
- Nazis Triumph Over Communists in Ukraine
- Obits for Happy Rockefeller blamed her for his political decline. Don’t believe it.
- Historian investigates claim that Bugsy Siegel wanted to kill Goring
- NYT hosts debate including Eric Foner: How Americans should remember Reconstruction
- William Leuchtenburg says historians and the media have been too hard on Obama
- Hugh Ambrose, historian who helped develop WWII Museum, dead at 48
- Historian discounts claim that Churchill and other British PM's were gay
- Nick Bunker Wins $50,000 2015 George Washington Book Prize