Iran reviews Caspian oil deal with Brazil

Oct. 5, 2006 at 8:52 AM

TEHRAN, Oct. 5 (UPI) -- An Iranian economic panel is reviewing the Caspian Sea oil deal with Brazil amid allegations the agreement is not in Tehran's national interest.

Parliament's Economic Council is assessing the draft agreement on oil extraction in the Caspian, Elyas Naderan, a member of the Majlis Economy Commission, told reporters Wednesday. The agreement will be finalized once the Economic Council ratifies it.

The two sides are divided over where the drilling will take place. Since the Caspian Sea is claimed by the littoral states, Iran wants the oil extracted from the middle, an area jointly owned with other states. But Brazil wants the work done from less deep areas near the coast.

Naderan said Iran's national interests were violated in the contract because it failed to specify where exactly drilling will take place.

The Fars news agency quoted him as saying: "Because of the conditions specified in the agreement, Brazil may not fully comply with its commitments and it was said that the Brazilian side had asked for an appendix to the agreement reflecting their wish to be included in the South Pars LNG agreement, and the acceptance of this condition would definitely be in breech of Iran's interests."

He called for an intervention by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to stop the signing of the agreement.

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