Rasht, Gilan province - Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki on Thursday emphasized the need for unanimity of the Caspian states to adopt legal regime for the Caspian SeaAddressing a seminar on the Caspian Sea, he added that to safeguard Iran’s rights in the sea, Tehran has announced that it will not allow other littoral countries to undertake exploratory operations in its 20 percent share as long as the legal regime is finalized.
Declaring Iran’s objection to presence of the aliens’ vessels in the landlocked Caspian Sea, he further noted that foreign countries’ presence will complicate the situation.
“Issues pertaining to the Caspian Sea, as the largest and unique lake in the world, are undoubtedly of the most sophisticated and technical nature,” he said, noting that the sea is interlinked with Iran’s national interests.
In view of its special status, the sea has turned into a focal point for Iran and that the Islamic Republic of Iran will seriously pursue issues pertaining to it, Mottaki said.
Despite Iran's major role in political and economic developments over the consecutive centuries, Iranian former regime did not pay sufficient attention to the sea, he said, adding that Iran faced with obstacles in taking advantage of its legal rights in the sea.
Geopolitical developments in the region provided Iran with a historical opportunity to do its best in line with its interests and remove the restrictions, Mottaki said.
Mottaki noted that there is no agreement between Iran and the former Soviet Union on the sea-level and the sea bed.
After collapse of the former Soviet Union and emergence of newly-independent states, different negotiations have been held but they have not been finalized and are in progress, he said.
“The 1982 Convention on Rights of Seas is not applicable to Caspian Sea because firstly it is a lake and secondly, Iran, Azerbaijan Republic, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan have not joined to it,” he said.
Mottaki said that so far several important agreements have been made between Iran and the former Soviet Union, the most significant of which are the 1921 and 1940 deals, but only a small section of them pertain to the Caspian Sea.
He said that fortunately the positive sections of the two accords were included in declaration of the Second Summit meeting in Tehran and signed by the presidents of the five littoral states.
Dividing Caspian Sea into north and south is a mistake, Mottaki underlined, adding that this is not a suitable option and will damage consensus among the countries.
"Tehran believes that the concepts such as energy and economy should not cause the littoral states to neglect issues of security concern."
Agreements made between Iran and the former Soviet Union stipulate that no country other than the two is entitled to shipping and fishing in the sea and no ship or vessel is permitted to pass the sea except under the two countries’ flags, he said.
"Fortunately, this was accepted through the talks and explicitly mentioned in the Summit's declaration."
October, 09, 09