Caspian Sea: Status under discussion

The legal status of the Caspian Sea, the world’s largest inland sea, has still not been determined by the states around its shores (Russian, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Iran).

Russia has declared that the next summit of the Caspian Sea Working Group in July should be held in the Iranian capital, Teheran, and to prepare this meeting, Viktor Kalyuzhny, the Russian special envoy for the Caspian Sea, has visited Teheran to prepare the summit.

Iranian envoy Mehdi Safari has declared that Iran is interested in regular meetings with its partners around the Caspian Sea to settle pending issues and questions of future development.

Iran defends a common five-nation sovereignty of the Caspian Sea, a position it is fighting hard to maintain. Teheran has made it clear that should this position not persevere, in the case of a division of powers, it will lay a claim to a 20% stake of the territory of the sea. At the same time, Teheran tries to place blocks against the establishment of the Caspian Sea’s legal regime, refusing to consider as valid any decisions taken by any state before this regime is settled.

Iran has made its position crystal clear: it wants a five-nation sovereignty over the Caspian Sea and any nation which has other plans can expect a long fight.


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