Baghdad will file an international lawsuit against Iran over water disputes, a senior advisor to the Iraqi Ministry of Water Resources said Sunday.
Aoun Diab told the state-funded al-Iraqiya television that the ministry had forwarded a dossier to the government after Iran had failed to respond after requests to discuss its diverting six rivers flowing into Iraq. Diab criticized what he called a lack of cooperation and drew an unfavorable comparison with Turkey given a delegation from Ankara was due to arrive for a field study.
Iraqi officials have for months talked of filing a case with the International Court of Justice, while Iranian officials have suggested Iraq’s chronic water challenge – the United Nations in 2017 ranked it the world’s fifth most vulnerable country to water shortage and food availability – results more from Turkish dams.
In April, Minister of Water Resources Mahdi Rashid al-Hamdani accused Tehran of ignoring Iraqi water rights “even if its dams are filled with water."
Both the Tigris and Euphrates, Iraq’s most important sources of water, originate in Turkey, although tributaries come from Syria and Iran.
Across the Middle East, water shortages have fed tensions between countries and within countries. Iranian officials have warned of a further fall this year in precipitation.