Iran OKs Caspian Sea security agreement

Jun 11, 2014 12:00 AM

By Sara Rajabova

Iranian parliament ratified on June 10 the agreement on Security Cooperation in the Caspian Sea, which was signed in 2010 by the littoral states.

The agreement was signed by the presidents of the Caspian states of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan during the third Caspian Summit in Baku, Azerbaijan in November 2010.

The document is a framework agreement and a legal basis for cooperation between parties' agencies in such areas as combating terrorism, organized crime, smuggling, human trafficking and illegal migration, trafficking in weapons of any kind, ammunition, explosives and poisonous substances, military equipment; illicit traffic in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors; the laundering of proceeds of crime; illegal extraction of bio-resources (poaching).

The agreement also provides for cooperation in maritime and navigation security, and in the fight against piracy.

The document also reads that it is possible to expand this list with other areas of cooperation, except the military aspects of security.

The status of the oil- and gas-rich inland sea has been a source of disagreement between the nations that border it since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The Caspian's oil and gas reserves, believed to be the world's third largest, have also been a source of dispute between Russia, Iran and the West.

Bilateral agreements exist between Russia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan to delimitate the bed of the northern part of the sea. Iran proposes dividing the sea into five equal parts, but Azerbaijan is against the initiative.

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