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Iraq threatens to take Iran to ICJ over water rights

September 23, 2021 at 10:47 am

Mehdi Rashid Al-Hamdani, Iraq’s Minister of Water Resources in Baghdad on 19 August 2020 [SABAH ARAR/AFP/Getty Images]

Iraqi Minister of Water Resources Mahdi Rashid yesterday renewed threats that Baghdad would take Iran to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in relation to his country’s water rights, Al Khaleej Online reported.

Mahdi said that Iraq had received information that Iran is digging tunnels and trying to alter the natural water flows.

“We have important cards to use to secure our water rights,” the Iraqi minister said in an interview with Al Iraqiya News on Tuesday.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is to internationalise the water issue with Iran,” he added, stressing that his country would not concede its water rights.

Iraq is facing water shortages due to low rainfall and the restriction of water flows from Iran and Turkey as the two neighbouring countries are holding back water to fill reservoirs.

Iraq is fed by the Tigris from Turkey, the Euphrates from Turkey and Syria, and a network of rivers from Iran.

READ: Water shortages leave Iraq thirsty for regional cooperation