Saturday, November 13, 2010

Ahmadinejad Facing Fateful Decision Over the Caspian Sea

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will represent Iran in the Caspian Sea littoral states submit to be held in Baku on 18 November. The Submit is to approve a new convention of the seas legal regime for the Caspian. The five heads of state of Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan, all bordering the Caspian Sea, will be in attendance.

Ahmadinejad will face a united front of Russia and the three former Soviet republics in pushing for a new “legal regime” that divides the sea equally among the five member states. But the issue for Iran is the existence of binding treaties that divides the sea equally between Iran and revolutionary Russia, and later between Iran and the Soviet Union. The birth of the three new republics bordering the Caspian after the collapse of the Soviet Union should not have changed Iran’s share of the sea. But this is not what Russia and its allies have on their minds. They do not want to divide the Soviet’s share into four, but the whole sea into five equal parts, reducing Iran’s share from half to one-fifth.

In 1921, the first of the two Caspian treaties was signed between Reza Shah's government and Lenin, then the new head of the revolutionary Russia. In 1940, Iran and the Soviet Union signed a second treaty reaffirming the equal division of the Caspian between the two nations. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the creation of four Caspian republics in its place should not have changed Iran’s shares.

That’s the dilemma Ahmadinejad will face in Baku: if he goes along with Russia and signs the new “legal regime,” he runs the risk of being labeled a traitor by many Iranians. Still to this date, the memories of Qajar-era treaties with Tsarist Russia, when the Persian monarch relinquished vast territories of the country to Russia, are fresh on the minds of almost all Iranians. Ahmadinejad’s signing off on the new Caspian legal regime would be the déjà-vu of a disastrous period in the Iranian history.


reader said...

Ahmadinejad can argue that the breakdown and division of the Soviet Union must be reflected on the Soviet section of the Caspian sea and not on Iran's side of the water. I am afraid this is a lose and lose situation for Iran. If the matter is taken to the UN Iran would definitely lose the case without support from a veto-wielding permanent member.

Anonymous said...

you are mixing things together

for example UN with UN-Security council.
not every state issue is task of UN and not every UN Issue is an Issue for security council.

however neither UN nor security council are responsible for determination of countries Border Issues.
That is the job of bilateral neogation between the countries.

WMD said...

So what? It's all about gas anyway and the world is so flush with the stuff, it's not worth the trouble.

It would even be a miracle if the gas pipeline to Pak. and beyond (or the undersea alternative to India, should Pak. succumb under debt and terrorism) gets built at all.

reader said...

Anonymous: Thank you for correcting me. As usual I showed my depth of ignorance on matters to do with the UN businesses. I guess this issue will not be resolved any time sooner. It will will remain to be seen whether any of the member states will militarily test Iranian resolve to protect its disputed marital borders. .

Anonymous said...


Analizing iranian neighbourns,i would say i don´t think any of them would dare to disturb Iran.

I think if Iran wants,they can get the 80% of the caspian sea,easily.

Anonymous said...

For all you America is the best thing since slice bread Iranians here is
America's prisons, makes Iranian prisons look decent!