Iraq Weather and Climate
The state borders of Iraq were determined by influential great and regional powers of the League of Nations (= Great Britain, France, Turkey) in several stages after the First World War. Individual sections of the border with Saudi Arabia, Iran and Kuwait were controversial for a long time afterwards. In the end, they were negotiated amicably, with Saudi Arabia, as well as conflictually, with Iran and Kuwait.
After the end of the First World War, the previously valid north and west borders were redefined at the Lausanne Conference. This happened in 1923. Today’s Iraqi Kurdish area was allocated to Iraqi territory in 1925, contrary to the Kurdish vote for independence and contrary to the Peace of Sèvres. The oil fields north-west of Mosul were only assigned to Iraq a year later – against the bitter resistance of Syria. The border with Kuwait was contractually established between Great Britain and Kuwait in 1930 and reaffirmed two years later. Saddam Hussein denied the legality of these agreements and tried to legitimize his invasion of Kuwait.
In 1937 the first boundary of modern times was established between the sovereign states of Iraq and Iran. In the Saadabad Treaty , concluded between Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Afghanistan, the rights of use of the Shat al-Arab were agreed. The exact demarcation, however, remained open, a commission charged with this did not come to an agreement, which almost inevitably programmed further conflicts. The Saadabad Treaty, nominally a non-violence agreement, was first denounced by Iraq in 1959. Ten years later, Iran followed suit. Finally, however, in 1975 the Treaty of Algiers a new borderline agreed. However, this only lasted until September 1980. At that time, Saddam Hussein canceled the contract and a few days later declared war with Iran. Since 1990, both countries have again accepted the border regulations of the Algiers Treaty. The so-called “valley path line”, i.e. the direct connection of the deepest points in the river bed, is therefore the limit.
The north of Iraq is in the area of a subtropical, semi-arid climate. The northeast has many microclimates, some of which depend very much on their proximity to the mountains mentioned. The summers reach average values around 34 ° C. However, temperatures just under 50 °C are possible in the areas around Erbil or Kirkuk on peak days. Such values are exceeded on special days in the very south, around Basra. In Baghdad, too, there are summer days that reach the 50 ° C or sometimes even exceed it. Public life is then very arduous and without functioning air conditioning a real strain. The south of Iraq is characterized by a semi-desert or completely desert climate. The summers are dry and hot there, but also humid in places near the river. In spring there are regular floods in the core zone of the Euphrates and Tigris.
Iraq’s winters are relatively mild. On average, the corresponding values are between 0 ° C -15 ° C. Here, however, there are also strong local deviations. In the Zagros Mountains, the thermometer sometimes falls below 0 ° C. Some mountains there have snow-capped peaks well into spring.