Iran News ...


1/1/03

Daily focuses on Sunday's episode in Majlis over Caspian issue

Tehran, Jan 1, IRNA -- `Iran News' on Wednesday editorialized on Majlis' (Parliament) session on Sunday and the unfortunate episode that followed.

Foreign Minister Dr Kamal Kharrazi was summoned to attend the session by Majlis' Foreign Policy and National Security Commission in order to respond to questions over his alleged inappropriate revelation of some key information on the Caspian Sea issue.

Eighti-six Iranian MPs demanded that Kharrazi appear in parliament to be grilled on his handling of the issue, the most prominent of his interrogators being the MP from Tehran, Ms. Elaheh Koulaie.

According to the daily, it turned out that Koulaie was blocked from raising any questions. She then walked out of the session in protest.

Kharrazi is accused of inappropriately divulging certain vital information on the Caspian Sea issue that is feared could harm the government's claim.

He should have disclosed such information in a closed-door session and not in public which he did, pointed out the editorial in the English-language daily.

By publicly declaring that Iran will not get a 50 percent share of the Caspian Sea's resources could prove detrimental to national interests since it would be taken as a concession and thereby weaken the country's bargaining position in ongoing direct negotiations among the five littoral states, it pointed out.

"Iran's stance on the Caspian Sea legal regime remains the co-equal division of the Caspian among the 5 littoral states--20 percent for each country."

It is unadvisable to voluntarily and so easily announce that Iran will not get the 50 percent share demanded, the very share that Iran has been so long insisting upon, it insisted.

Ms. Koulaie, along with scores of other lawmakers, are highly critical of Iranian diplomacy and the way the foreign ministry deals with the issue of the Caspian Sea, and has accused Kharrazi and the ministry of "incomepetence" and "lack of a clear understanding" of the political realities surrounding the Caspian Sea issue.

The Majlis Presiding Board can also be blamed and openly censured concerning the incident that took place in the Majlis on Sunday, the editorial noted.

It is entirely "undemocratic" and "wrong" on the part of the parliament's presiding board to impede a people's representative (MP Koulaie) from speaking out, it pointed out.

"It reflects badly on the entire legislature, which inists on its democratic foundation," the editorial concluded.

... Payvand News - 1/1/03 ... --



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