The Shah’s Diplomatic Relations And Travels With European Countries
He justified his move by arguing that almost all river borders all over the world ran along the thalweg (deep channel mark), and by claiming that because most of the ships that used the Shatt al-Arab were Iranian, the 1937 treaty was unfair to Iran. Iraq threatened war over the Iranian move, but when on 24 April 1969 an Iranian tanker escorted by Iranian warships sailed down the Shatt al-Arab without paying tolls, Iraq, being the militarily weaker state, did nothing. The Iranian abrogation of the 1937 treaty marked the beginning of a period of acute Iraqi-Iranian tension that was to last until the Algiers Accords of 1975. The fact that Iraq had welcomed the former SAVAK chief General Teymur Bakhtiar to Baghdad, where he regularly met with representatives of the Tudeh Party and the Confederation of Iranian Students, added to the difficult relations between Iran and Iraq.On 7 August 1970, Bakhtiar was badly wounded by a SAVAK assassin who shot him five times, and he died five days later; Alam wrote in his diary that Mohammad Reza rejoiced at the news.