Country with Smallest Border along the Persian Gulf: Iraq

The Persian Gulf is a mediterranean sea in West Asia that separates the Arabian Peninsula from Iran. It is connected to the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea by the Strait of Hormuz, which is about 35 miles wide at its narrowest point. The Persian Gulf has many fishing grounds, extensive reefs, and abundant pearl oysters, but its ecology has been damaged by industrialization and oil spills

The Persian Gulf has a coastline of about 5,117 miles, which is shared by eight countries: Iran, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Iraq Among these countries, Iraq has the smallest border along the Persian Gulf, with only 36 miles of coastline In this article, we will explore some of the features and challenges of Iraq’s coastal region.

Iraq’s Coastal Region

Iraq’s coastal region is located in the northwest of the Persian Gulf, where the Shatt al-Arab river delta forms the shoreline. The Shatt al-Arab is a river that carries the waters of the Euphrates and the Tigris, two of the most important rivers in the history and culture of Iraq. The Shatt al-Arab is also called Arvand Rud in Iran, and is considered a vital waterway for both countries

Iraq’s coastal region is mostly flat and marshy, with a hot and humid climate. It is home to various wildlife species, such as water buffalo, otters, pelicans, flamingos, and the endangered Basra reed warbler. It is also rich in natural resources, such as oil, gas, and minerals. However, it also faces many environmental and social problems, such as pollution, salinization, desertification, flooding, drought, and conflict.

Iraq’s Coastal Development

Iraq’s coastal development has been influenced by its historical, political, and economic factors. Iraq was part of the Ottoman Empire until the end of World War I, when it became a British mandate. In 1932, Iraq gained its independence, but remained under British influence until 1958, when a military coup overthrew the monarchy and established a republic. In 1963, the Ba’ath Party came to power, and ruled Iraq until 2003, when a US-led invasion toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein. Since then, Iraq has been struggling with instability, violence, and sectarianism.

Iraq’s coastal development has also been affected by its relations with its neighbors, especially Iran and Kuwait. Iraq and Iran have had a long-standing dispute over the sovereignty and navigation rights of the Shatt al-Arab, which led to the Iran-Iraq War from 1980 to 1988, one of the deadliest wars in modern history. Iraq and Kuwait have also had a territorial conflict over the border and the oil fields, which triggered the Gulf War in 1990, when Iraq invaded and annexed Kuwait, and was later expelled by a US-led coalition.

Iraq’s coastal development has also been shaped by its oil industry, which is the main source of its economy and revenue. Iraq has the fifth-largest proven oil reserves in the world, and most of them are located in the southern region near the Persian Gulf. Iraq’s oil production and export have been subject to fluctuations and interruptions due to wars, sanctions, sabotage, and corruption. Iraq’s oil sector also faces challenges such as aging infrastructure, lack of investment, environmental degradation, and social unrest.

Iraq’s Coastal Future

Iraq’s coastal future depends on its ability to overcome its current difficulties and to pursue its potential opportunities. Iraq needs to restore its security, stability, and sovereignty, and to foster its national unity and reconciliation. Iraq also needs to improve its governance, transparency, and accountability, and to combat its corruption, mismanagement, and waste. Iraq also needs to diversify its economy, reduce its dependence on oil, and develop its other sectors, such as agriculture, industry, and tourism.

Iraq’s coastal future also relies on its cooperation with its regional and international partners, especially its Persian Gulf neighbors. Iraq needs to resolve its outstanding disputes and to establish good relations with Iran and Kuwait, based on mutual respect and interest. Iraq also needs to participate in the regional initiatives and organizations, such as the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Arab League, and to benefit from their support and assistance. Iraq also needs to engage with the global community and to adhere to the international laws and norms.

Iraq’s coastal future also hinges on its preservation and enhancement of its coastal environment and resources. Iraq needs to protect its biodiversity and ecosystems, and to restore its wetlands and marshes. Iraq also needs to prevent and reduce its pollution and emissions, and to adopt clean and renewable energy sources. Iraq also needs to manage its water and land resources, and to cope with the impacts of climate change and natural disasters.

Conclusion

Iraq is the country with the smallest border along the Persian Gulf, with only 36 miles of coastline. Iraq’s coastal region is a vital and valuable area, but also a vulnerable and troubled one. Iraq’s coastal development has been influenced by its historical, political, and economic factors, and has faced many challenges and difficulties. Iraq’s coastal future depends on its ability to overcome its current problems and to pursue its potential opportunities, and to cooperate with its regional and international partners, and to preserve and enhance its coastal environment and resources.