Baku, Azerbaijan, March 4
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
The Caspian Sea's legal status is an important part of Iran's foreign policy, deputy head of Iranian Center for Strategic Studies, Mohammad Fazeli said, the country's IRNA news agency reported on March 4.
Commenting on geopolitical importance of the Caspian Sea for Iran, Fazeli said that Iran has various interests in the sea due to its oil and gas resources as well as shipping and fishing.
In the past 20 years the littoral states (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan and Iran) have been negotiating on a legal regime for the Caspian Sea without any result, he added.
Fazeli went on to say that although the nuclear issue of Iran is now highlighted, the Caspian Sea legal status is also another extremely important issue in the country's foreign policy sphere.
A special working group of the Caspian Sea countries will hold a meeting for the development of a convention on the legal status of the sea in Ashgabat on April 1-2, 2014.
The Caspian Sea littoral states signed a Framework Convention for the Protection of Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea in November 2003. 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. In May 2002 they signed a protocol to this agreement. On Nov. 29, 2001 and Feb. 27, 2003, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan signed agreements on the delimitation of the Caspian Sea.
Additionally, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Russia signed an agreement on the delimitation of adjacent sections of the Caspian Sea on May 14, 2003.