Tuesday, July 5, 2022


Iraq: Future of water relations with Iran unknown

 Iraq: Future of water relations with Iran unknown

The Euphrates River. Photo: iStock

Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) – The Iraqi Minister of Water Resources, Mahdi Rashid Al-Hamdani, confirmed on Thursday that Baghdad rejects the interference of Turkey and Iran in the country’s water policy, and added that the future of water relations with Iran has become unknown, according to an interview with Al-Arabiya/Al-Hadath news.

The minister’s statement comes in a time where Iraq suffers from a water crisis ongoing for years, exacerbated by Iranian and Turkish violations, and by the increasing impacts of climate change.

Hamdani stressed the need to push Tehran and Ankara to admit Iraq rights of water. He added that the Iraqi government started to internationalize the water issue with Iran as it previously sent a protest note to the Iranian government but did not receive a response.

Hamdani emphasized that Iran cut off more than 40 tributaries of the river which significantly affected Iraq’s water share.

The Iraqi minister indicated that the country has domestic issues related to the water, as is the case with Turkey, Iran and other countries.

“We have started to transform the irrigation system from open to closed, and this is considered a step forward in confronting climate change,” Hamdani said.

Iraq has been suffering for years from a water crisis as Turkey built dams along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, preventing water from flowing at its previous levels into Iraqi lands. Also, Iran cut off many tributaries and rivers which worsened the situation in Iraq.