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Iran's Caspian Sea share at around 20%: Official

TEHRAN, Nov. 1 (Mehr News Agency) - Tehran's representative to Caspian Sea affairs insists that Iran's share of the Caspian Sea stands at around 20 percent. However this does not mean that the sea is divided into five equal parts among the five Caspian Sea states, Mahdi Safari told the ISNA news agency in an interview published on Sunday.

The leaders of the five Caspian Sea states (Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan) pledged at a summit in Tehran in October 2007 to overcome differences on dividing the sea and its resources but failed to agree on boundaries or a final share.

In the Tehran summit Azerbaijan was asked to draft a deal based on three plans put forward by Iran, Russia and Kazakhstan and therefore representatives from the five littoral countries met late October in Baku to discuss the draft deal, he stated.

He said the talks were constructive and the littoral states will soon meet again.

Caspian Sea from space (NASA, 2003) -- see high resolution

Safari, a veteran diplomat, said Iran will insist on its 20 percent share and believes that issues related to sharing the seabed resources should be resolved through dialogue.

He expressed hope that in the upcoming talks a security agreement and a plan for the establishment of an economic cooperation organization in the Caspian Sea region, proposed by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, would be ratified by the involved countries.

Safari went on to say that security in the Caspian Sea is a priority for Iran and Azerbaijan must not allow foreign powers to use its waters.

Based on Iran's agreements with Azerbaijan and Russia, these two countries should not allow other countries to use their territory to act against Iran, he noted.

Some inside and outside Iran look at the Caspian Sea from an economic perspective but security issues are much more important, he added.

Related Article: National Interests of Iran in the Caspian Sea

... Payvand News - 11/02/09 ... --

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