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FM spokesman says Iran committed to its stand on Caspian Sea

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi dismissed as unfounded reports on Iran's change of position regarding the Caspian Sea, and stressed Iran's determination to safeguard its interests, IRNA reported from Tehran.

Talking to IRNA, he dismissed the claims as "baseless" and said Iran has always supported talks among Caspian Sea littoral states aimed at setting up a legal regime that would satisfy all littoral countries and guarantee their long-term interests.

He noted that Iran had made proposals of its own to resolve the problem, taking due consideration of international regulations and the sea's peculariar characteristics.

According to the spokesman, Iran favors joint exploitation of the sea as the most logical solution to the problem.

But the idea of dividing the sea for joint exploitation would be acceptable to Iran only if it is fair and based on international rules and regulations, Asefi clarified.

Expounding on Iran's official stance, he said certain peculiar characteristics of the Caspian Sea such as its shape and the length of its coastline would entitle Iran to some 20 percent share of the sea and its resources.

The Foreign ministry spokesman expressed the hope that the next meeting of foreign ministers of the Caspian Sea littoral states would bring the views of these states closer toward solving the problem.

... Payvand News - 3/10/04 ... --

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