Iran official: No conclusive decision on Caspian Sea’s legal regime so far
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Iran official: No conclusive decision on Caspian Sea’s legal regime so far

Abbas Mousavi made the remarks in an interview with IRNA on Sunday, saying, “All current speculations about the Caspian Sea’s legal regime are incorrect … [because] no new development has taken place with regard to its legal regime and related discussions have been limited to negotiations between individual countries.”   Addressing concerns surrounding the issue of the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea, Mousavi said Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s latest participation at a session of the Iranian Parliament (Majlis) held to discuss the sea's legal regime, was just aimed to answer a question posed by the Iranian lawmakers on this issue last year, and Iran's top diplomat explained that no legal discussion has been finalized with respect to the legal regime yet.   The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman stressed that the issue of the Caspian Sea has its own complications as the sea has been engulfed by five states, which is why its legal regime has yet to be determined.   Mousavi said all the five littoral states have been trying to reach a solution on the issue, which demands intensive technical and legal work, adding that some allegations around the matter are just hearsay and lack logical basis.   While addressing an open session of the parliament last month, Zarif said the foreign ministry would not compromise on the country’s territorial integrity with anybody, including with regard to Iran's territorial waters.   “When it comes to Iran's territorial integrity and waters, we will stand on ceremony with nobody and will not negotiate with any party about honors Iran has gained during the past 40 years …. The administration is committed to this issue and the Majlis has the final say on it,” Iran's top diplomat told lawmakers.   Zarif noted that the convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea was signed “with open eyes” by leaders of the five littoral states on August 12, 2018, adding that Iran would never compromise on its interests on the basis of mere trust in other countries.   The Caspian Sea convention was signed by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his counterparts from Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan, namely Vladimir Putin, Ilham Aliyev, Nursultan Nazarbayev and Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, respectively, after the 5th Caspian Summit in the Kazakh port city of Aktau.   The convention is drawn up in 24 articles with the most important highlights being a ban on military presence of all foreign countries in the sea and transit of military consignments belonging to foreign countries.   The convention emphasizes that the Caspian Sea belongs to all littoral states, prohibiting establishment and handing over of any kind of military bases to foreign countries. It also puts emphasis on sovereign rights of the littoral states while recognizing their right to decide on the sea.  

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