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Iran condemns presence of extraterritorial forces in Caspian Sea

Iran Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi on Sunday condemned presence of extraterritorial forces in the Caspian Sea and stressed that the security of the region should be provided by the littoral states themselves, IRNA reported from Tehran.

Talking to foreign and domestic reporters, he said according to an agreement reached among five Caspian littoral states, military presence of any foreign power in the region is unacceptable.

Inviting extraterritorial forces to the Caspian region is against the consensus made by the littoral states, he said adding that such a move will damage the regional stability and will make the situation more complicated.

As to the visit to the region by the US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Asefi said the visit is in line with the US warmongering policy.

On Geneva Initiative, proposed by some Palestinian groups and the Zionist regime, he said as long as the Cabinet of Ariel Sharon is in power in the occupied Palestinian territory, any kind of peace plan will not succeed.

Referring to the 12th working meeting of the Caspian Sea littoral states to be held in Tehran from December 9-10, Asefi said the meeting will review negotiations on the Caspian legal convention.

The regional oil and gas, shipping, fisheries, environment, determination of marine borders and security issues will be among various topics to be discussed by the participants in the Caspian working meeting, the Foreign Ministry spokesman added.

Asked when Iran is going to sign the additional protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), he said Tehran has announced its readiness for cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

As to the case of the Iranian national Keyvan Tabesh, murdered by the Canadian police in Vancouver in July this year, Asefi said a delegation has been appointed by the Islamic Human Rights Commission to probe the case.

He further regretted that the Canadian officials have not been cooperative in the investigation into the case.

Turning to claims that the culprits behind the Istanbul explosions have fled via Iran, he stressed that the Iranian forces have full control over the borders. If any document is provided by the Turkish officials in this respect, they will be studied carefully.

... Payvand News - 12/7/03 ... --

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