Iran president to name special Caspian representative
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami will assign a special representative to take care of matters related to the Caspian Sea's energy resources, the official IRNA news agency said Monday.
It cited foreign ministry specialist in charge of economic planning Mohammad Taheri as saying that the Caspian littoral states "should form a policy-making council on the sea's energy reserves and set up an investment fund."
The Caspian is home to the world's third richest reserve of hydrocarbons after the Gulf and Siberia, prompting a bitter rivalry among the sea's five littoral nations -- Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan.
Iran has in the past accused its neighbors, particularly Azerbaijan, of being too friendly to the United States and Israel.
Azerbaijan has secured a number of major energy contracts with US and other foreign firms since the breakup of the Soviet Union.
The division of the Caspian's waters have never been formally clarified, but Khatami announced in June that his country was ready to share the sea's resources "equitably."—AFP
©--Agence France Press
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