Iraq's new Al-Tharthar irrigation project linking the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers was officially opened on Sunday (10 October).
SV PULL BACK TO GV Dam wall PAN ALONG TO river bed (2 shots)
SV PULL BACK TO Crowd PAN OVER crowd
SV PULL TO GV Saddam Hussein, Vice-Chairman, cutting ribbon then people applaud
SV ZOOM IN TO CU Mr. Hussein pressing button to open project
SV & GV Water gushing into river bed as Mr. Hussein and officials watch (3 shots)
SV ZOOM INTO CU People chanting
SV Mr. Hussein and officials inspecting site
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Background: Iraq's new Al-Tharthar irrigation project linking the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers was officially opened on Sunday (10 October).
SYNOPSIS: The new irrigation system will mean a constant supply of water for the three million people living in the Euphrates basin. The canal connecting the two rivers is 21 miles (37 kilometres) longhand was built in just over four years. The main regulator near Tharthar has six openings, each about 30 feet (8 metres) wide, that are regulated by electrically or mechanically operated steel doors. Iraq received aid from the Soviet Deputy Premier Ivan Arkhipov flew to Iraq to attend the official opening.
The ceremony was performed by Mr. Saddam Hussein, the Vice-President of the Iraqi Revolutionary Council. Mr. Hussein was standing in for President A.H. Al-Bakr who couldn't be there.
As well as Iraqi officials many diplomats from other countries, particularly Arab states, and members of the Arab Baath Socialist Party were there to see Mr. Hussein press the button that released the first stream of water into the new canal. Afterwards Minister of Irrigation Dr. Mokaram Jamal delivered a short speech congratulating all those who'd been involved in the building of the project. He said for the first time in history it would mean that farmers in the area could live and grow their crops without fear of drought wiping out seasons of hard work. He said the project was a magnificent example of how the country had progressed since the revolution. He said it was also a lasting tribute to the friendship ad cooperation that existed between Iraq and the Soviet Union.