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Joint Operation Arvand
Part of the Persian Gulf Conflict and the Cold War
Incident on Shatt al-Arab.png
Location of the conflict
Date22–25 April 1969
LocationArvand Rud, Iran–Iraq border

Iranian victory

  • Iran established control over Arvand Rud[1]
  • Iran continued its support of Kurdish separatists in Iraqi Kurdistan[2][3][4][5]
  • Iraq expelled thousands of Iranian residents and pilgrims from its soil[1][6]
  • Iraq banned import of Iranian goods[7]
  • Iraq began supporting Iranian separatists in Khuzestan and Balochistan[1]
  • Tensions continued between the two countries until 1975 Algiers Agreement[8]
Iran Iran Iraq Iraq
Commanders and leaders
Iran Mohammad Reza Iraq Hassan al-Bakr
Units involved
Imperial Iranian Navy
Imperial Iranian Air Force
Imperial Iranian Army
Iraqi Navy
Iraqi Ground Forces
2 navy ships and a squadron of F4 Phantom[9] Thousands of troops[9]
Casualties and losses
None None

The Joint Operation Arvand (Persian: عملیات مشترک اروند‎, more known by its Persian acronym AMA, عما)[10] was a show of force operation[1] orchestrated in April 1969 by the Imperial Iranian Armed Forces following Iraqi claim for the sovereign right to Shatt al-Arab/Arvand Rud and threatening to block passage of vessels unless they fly Iraqi flag.[6]

On 22 April 1969, Iranian merchant ship Ebn-e-Sina, carrying a cargo of steel beams and flying Iranian flag, was escorted by Iranian heavily armed naval vessels, as well as jet fighters[7] and proceeded through the river into the Persian Gulf, in a 80-mile journey which took about six hours.[9] However, the Iraqi forces did not attempt to respond as it pledged.[7]

Both countries strengthened their land forces along the river bank, stationing artillery, tanks and anti-aircraft weapons. Iranian troops were positioned in the vicinity of Khorramshahr and Abadan, while Iraq put its forces in Basra on alert.[7]

Iranian freighter Arya Far passed through the river escorted by four gunboats three days later, with no disturbance.[7]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Ward, Steven R. (2014). Immortal, Updated Edition: A Military History of Iran and Its Armed Forces. Georgetown University Press. p. 202. ISBN 9781626160651. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Abdulghani, Jasim M. (2012). Iraq and Iran (RLE Iran A). Taylor & Francis. p. 121. ISBN 9781136834264. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Stürchler, Nikolas (2007). The Threat of Force in International Law. Cambridge University Press. p. 202. ISBN 9781139464918. 
  8. Charles P. Wallace (19 August 1988). "Iran, Iraq Still Fail to Bridge Waterway Dispute". Los Angeles Times. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 "Iranian Ship Challenges Iraq Estuary". The Advocate-Messenger. 27 April 1969. p. 16. 
  10. "Dialogue With General Hassani Sadi" (in Persian). Summer 2004. pp. 8–40. 

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