The Recent Trend of Territoriality in the Persian Gulf

Document Type : Original Article


1 - Full Professor of Political Geography, University of Tehran

2 - Ph.D Student of Political Geography, University of Tehran


Territoriality in the Persian Gulf dates back to 1930's following the Hague Conference on the law of the sea. The government of Iran was the first one to pass a law delimiting its territorial waters and contiguous zones in 1934. Following Truman’s proclamation on September 28, 1945, Persian Gulf States began to ratify laws concerning exploration and extraction of oil in their continental shelves. However, due to narrowness and shallowness of the Persian Gulf, the seabed had to be divided among the coastal states according to their geographical specifications. This physical constraint made some countries to be reluctant to fix their maritime boundaries. As a result, presently there are only 12 boundary lines which are legally delimited and agreed upon. The rest are under dispute and have to be resolved before being shown on the map.
This article aims to trace the process of Territoriality in the Persian Gulf from 1934 till now (November 2007) and at the same time produce a precise map covering all the legally agreed maritime boundaries in the Persian Gulf, paying special attention to the agreement made between Arab states since 2000.


Volume 3, Issue 7
March 2007
Pages 1-21
  • Receive Date: 22 June 2007
  • Revise Date: 31 January 2008
  • Accept Date: 06 April 2008
  • First Publish Date: 06 April 2008