The outgoing Iraqi government announced on Friday that the demarcation of borders on the Shatt al-Arab will begin at the beginning of November under the supervision of the United Nations (UN), according to AKnews.
The Shatt al-Arab is where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers meet and flow into the Persian Gulf.
Ahmed al-Shihani, foreign affairs advisor to prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, told the agency that the government formed a technical committee composed of both the interior and foreign affairs ministries, Basra provincial council and the advisory body of the council of ministers to demarcate the border after coordinating with Iran on the issue.
The process is to be conducted according to international procedures and supervised by the UN, and the Iranian side reportedly welcomes this.
With a length of 204 km and a downstream width of over 2km, the Shatt al-Arab is an important link to the Gulf for Iraq, which has few ports deep enough to transport international freight.
Iran has repeatedly requested shared sovereignty over the waters of the channel which Iraq inherited from conventions drafted during Ottoman rule.