|Iran opposed to militarization of Caspian Sea: ambassador||
TEHRAN – Iran is opposed to the militarization of the Caspian Sea since it could lead to tension among the littoral states, the Iranian ambassador to Russia, Mehdi Sanaee, said in Moscow on Saturday.
Commenting on unofficial, unconfirmed reports that say a forward military base for U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan is being built in one of the littoral states, Sanaee said that Iran believes such actions would undermine the security and interests of the region.
If it is happening, the construction of a foreign military base in a littoral state should be halted because such a move could pose a threat to the region, he stated.
Preventing foreign countries from establishing a presence in the Caspian Sea is very important for Iran, he said.
He also emphasized the need to create a joint news agency to expand media cooperation between the littoral states of the Caspian Sea and also proposed the establishment of a joint parliamentary committee.
Sanaee stated that the next summit of Caspian Sea heads of state will be held in Astrakhan, Russia in 2014, during which the statement of the five heads of state and agreements on cooperation in the exploitation of fisheries and cooperation in emergency situations will be signed.
He noted that the Russo-Persian Treaty of Friendship, which was signed by Iran and Soviet Russia in 1921, is still the main document defining relations between Caspian Sea states since no new agreement has been signed.
Based on the terms of the treaty, all previous agreements between the signatories, including the Treaty of Turkmenchay, were canceled. Moreover, both Soviet Russia and Iran were given full and equal shipping rights in the Caspian Sea along with the right to fly their respective national flags on their commercial vessels.
Soviet Russia became part of the Soviet Union in 1922, which broke up in 1991, with the Russian Federation being the successor state of the Soviet Union.
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