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President Rouhani: 30% of Caspian Sea issue solved

Tehran, After more than 20 years of negotiations over the Caspian Sea, some 30% of the issue has been solved so far and the remaining differences are yet to be solved, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday.

President Rouhani said during a cabinet session a few days after a summit meeting of the Caspian Sea littoral states over the legal regime convention of the Sea.

Northern countries of the Caspian Sea agreed on some parts of the issues, the president said.

Russia, that once owned a large part of the Caspian Sea, today has satisfied itself with a 17% share of the Sea, he added.

In the southern part of the Sea, there are still differences between Iran, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan, the President said. 'We had good agreements with Azerbaijan which are being implemented while part of the issues still remains unsolved.'

In the recent meeting, the issue of security of the Sea which was a source of concern both for Iran and other littoral countries was also solved, President Rouhani said, adding that the United States and even NATO aimed to deploy forces, destroyers and helicopters at the Caspian Sea and set up military bases at the Sea.

The recent agreement bans setting up any foreign military bases and the presence of foreign vessels in the Caspian Sea and also provides that the commuting of vessels in the Sea needs to be done under the flag of one of the five littoral states, the president said.

Under the terms of the agreement, the territory of none of the five littoral states can be used for launching a military aggression against another littoral state, President Rouhani added.

'We also agreed that Iran must receive special concessions for its coastal base lines and must have a territorial Sea up to 15 miles from its base lines and an exclusive fishing area up to 10 miles from territorial waters.'

'The Iranian ships can commute all over the Sea and we can make use of the port, tourism and economic capacities of the Sea,' the president said.

'We have to continue with negotiations as there is no other way; we need to solve the issues through dialogue and negotiations.'

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA

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