Fishermen live in southern Iraq with constant concern at the common borders with Kuwait and Iran, specifically in the Shatt al-Arab region, which was attacked by the forces of former President Saddam Hussein in 1980 and 1990.
From its privileged location overlooking the Gulf and Shatt al-Arab, where the waters of the Tigris and Euphrates mix, the Iraqi port of Faw appears calm after it was in the past at the fore of the conflict with Iran in the eighties and a few years later with Kuwait.
Iraqi fishermen complain that they are “harassed”, whether from Iran or Kuwait. When the fishing boats leave in the waters of the Shatt al-Arab and to the high waters of the Gulf, the currents sweep them into the Kuwaiti or Iranian territorial waters.
One of the fishermen said: “The Iranians put you in jail and fine you 3000 dollars,” adding: “We have a lot of problems with the Iranians, as soon as we cross the border because of the current, they arrest us.”
The head of the FAO Fishermen’s Syndicate Badran Al-Tamimi confirmed that “there is no support from the Iraqi government,” pointing out that Kuwait has rushed to arrest Iraqi fishermen who “unintentionally” enter the territorial waters of Kuwait, which was invaded by Saddam Hussein’s regime in August 1990, before being forced to withdraw from it after General by an international coalition led by the United States.
In September 1980, Saddam Hussein’s forces attacked Iran after he abandoned the 1975 Algiers Accords that were supposed to end the border dispute between Baghdad and Tehran over the Shatt al-Arab.
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