Caspian legal regime must respect Iran-Soviet accords: Tehran

April 16, 2008

TEHRAN -- Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki on Tuesday said the legal regime of the Caspian Sea should be determined in line with former deals agreed by Iran and the Soviet Union.

Any agreements about the Caspian Sea must be in line with former accords on trade and transportation and the friendship treaty inked by Iran and the former Soviet Union in 1921 and 1940, Mottaki told the special working group on the Caspian Sea legal regime.
“Fortunately talks between Caspian Sea littoral states have reached a level where defining the sea’s legal regime can be viewed as an achievable (goal),” said the foreign minister.
He expressed hope that the meeting will pave the ground for the bordering states “to take a positive step in determining the legal regime and outlining the rights and duties of every state about the sea.”
“The Islamic Republic, having the largest number of inhabitants along the Caspian Sea shores, will carefully pursue the sea’s issues.”
The top diplomat said Caspian Sea legal regime should be able to meet the expectations and demands of the current and future generations of the bordering countries. It should be in the littoral sates’ best interests, preserve peace and security of the region, and protect its environment, Mottaki noted.
He added that the 25-article declaration of the 2nd Caspian Sea Littoral States summit, which was held in Tehran on October 16, “is the most important political document agreed by the five bordering countries. It brings out principles that current and future cooperation among littoral states should be based on. The declaration will pave the way for deeper dialogue among the bordering states’ officials.”
Elsewhere in his remarks, Mottaki lauded growing cooperation among the littoral states in recent years which led to signing the convention on Caspian environment, also known as Tehran convention.
Iran plans to submit a proposal on forming the organization of Caspian Sea economic cooperation to the upcoming meeting of the bordering countries in Russia, the foreign minister stated.
He asserted that the Islamic Republic is determined to expand military and security cooperation with the Caspian Sea nations as part of efforts to maintain security in the region