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Iran Urges Caspian Sea Unanimous Treaty

Service : Politic
TEHRAN, July 19 (ICANA) – Any convention on the legal regime of the Caspian Sea must be determined through consensus of all the five littoral states, an Iranian lawmaker says.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011 12:07:42 PM
Iran Urges Caspian Sea Unanimous Treaty

“A draft convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea must be codified based on a consensus among all the five littoral sates and without political meddling of foreign countries,” Mehdi Mehdizadeh, a member of Iran's Majlis (parliament) Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy told ICANA on Tuesday.

The lawmaker further explained that the Caspian Sea region is of strategic importance due to its rich fish and oil deposits, and therefore the sea resources must be divided on justice and consensus between the five littoral states -- Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan.

He pointed out that Iran's share of the resources must be at least 20 percent, reiterating that Tehran must not agree to a new convention if its share is supposed to be less than 20 percent.

Representatives from the five littoral states are in Moscow, Russia, to discuss a draft convention on the legal status of the sea.

Mohammad Mehdi Akhoundzadeh, Iranian presidential advisor for Caspian Sea affairs, heads the Iranian delegation to the 29th session of the special working group scheduled for July 19-20.

The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed body of water on earth by area, and is variously classed as the world's largest lake or a full-fledged sea.

Despite extensive negotiations, the legal status of the Caspian Sea has been unclear since the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Currently, the Caspian Sea's legal regime is based on two agreements signed between Iran and the Soviet Union in 1921 and 1940.

Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan -- the three new littoral states, established after the collapse of Soviet Russia -- do not recognize the prior treaties, triggering a debate on the future status of the sea.

The littoral states have yet to come up with a final convention on the Caspian Sea, which will determine the territorial rights of littoral states as well as other matters related to the sea.

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