Cross-Caspian pipeline would violate rights

Apr 23, 1998 02:00 AM

Iran has criticised the US-backed plans for a cross-Caspian oil pipeline, saying the proposed project would breach the rights of littoral states.
"Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi...termed the contract for laying a pipeline on the Caspian Sea bed...a violation of the rights of other littoral states," news-agency IRNA said.
"Kharrazi told that because no consensus has been reached so far among the Caspian Sea littoral states over a new legal regime for the sea, no party, especially not foreign companies, can take a measure which will violate rights of the others," the agency said.
The United States has for a year sought to rally support for a Eurasian pipeline that would carry oil and gas from the resource-rich Caspian region to Baku, Azerbaijan, then to Ceyhan, Turkey and Western markets.
Kharrazi said Iran also opposed the pipeline on environmental grounds.
"The Iranian foreign minister reiterated that the Caspian Sea belongs to all littoral states and that its legalregime should be formulated by all the states bordering the sea," the agency said.
The Caspian Sea is surrounded by Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan.

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