Iran wants equal Caspian division of waters, seabed

Oct. 9, 2009 at 2:41 PM

TEHRAN, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- Iran reiterated its position that any final disposition of the Caspian's offshore waters will require unanimity among the nations sharing its shoreline.

Two agreements dealing with the issue were signed in 1921 and 1940 between Iran and the Soviet Union. Maritime legal specialists have since speculated that the Caspian might be divided under terms of the 1982 U.N. Convention on Law of the Sea.

The Islamic Republic News Agency report Thursday that Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, addressing a seminar on the Caspian in the capital Tehran, remarked, "Issues pertaining to the Caspian Sea, as the largest and unique lake in the world, are undoubtedly of the most sophisticated and technical nature. 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 it. Tehran believes that the concepts such as energy and economy should cause the littoral states to neglect issues of security concern."

Iran's position since 1991 has been that all five Caspian states receive a 20 percent share of the Caspian's waters and seabed, while Russia has maintained that each state should receive territory proportional to the length of its coastline.

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