Iran wants 'say' in any decision on Caspian

Iran wants 'say' in any decision on Caspian

Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 3 / Trend T.Jafarov /

Tehran believes that the adoption of any decision on the status of the Caspian Sea is unacceptable without Iran's consent.

"The legal status of the Caspian Sea must be determined on the basis of mutual understanding, and any decision in this regard without Iran's consent is unacceptable. This is Tehran's principle position," Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister and Presidential Adviser for Caspian Issues Mohammad Mehdi Akhundzadeh told Trend today.

The official arrived in Baku today to attend the fourth meeting of the deputy foreign ministers of the five Caspian littoral countries.

No document can be signed on the status of the sea without Iran's consent, Akhundzadeh stressed.

"Today, discussions on determining the legal status of the Caspian Sea are conducted on the basis of the documents signed in 1921 and 1940 between the former Soviet Union and Iran," he said. "We will try to determine a legal status that meets the national interests of Iran and will ensure society's needs in the future."

Akhundzadeh called on other Caspian states to respect Iran's position.

"There is a huge potential that is not fully used in the Caspian Sea and all of the Caspian countries could benefit from it," Akhundzadeh said.

In November 2003, the Caspian countries signed the Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea.

In July 1998, Russia and Kazakhstan signed an agreement on the delimitation of the northern part of the Caspian Sea in order to exercise sovereign rights for subsoil use.

On Nov. 29, 2001 and Feb.27, 2003, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan signed an agreement on the delimitation of the Caspian Sea.

Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Russia signed an agreement on the delimitation of adjacent sections of the Caspian Sea on May 14, 2003.

Today, Baku is hosting the fourth meeting of the deputy foreign ministers of the five Caspian littoral countries to agree on a draft agreement on security cooperation in the Caspian Sea.

The document is expected to be submitted for discussion at the summit of the heads of Caspian states to be held on Nov. 18 in Baku.

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