Iran warns neighbors over Caspian Sea oil
Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Karazi issued a new warning to neighboring countries Wednesday, August 7, over the development of Caspian Sea oil resources, saying it had not been decided who owns them.
"The bordering countries do not have the right to exploit its (Caspian Sea) energy reserves before a legal status is established for the sea," radio quoted Karazi as saying.
"Considering there are different views on the Caspian's underground fields and that we don't know who they belong to, we naturally expect that no prospecting or development will be undertaken there," the minister said.
Kharazi repeated that Iran would not relinquish "its legitimate 20 percent, which include the Alborz oil field" in the Caspian, and called for a dialogue with the other countries involved: Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Russia.
The five's failure to resolve the issue since the collapse of the Soviet Union 10 years ago has hindered oil development in the region, thought to hold 200 billion barrels of oil and 600 trillion cubic feet of gas.
Iran is insisting that all five Caspian countries receive an equal 20 percent portion of the sea, which would cut into the sectors Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan have already marked out for themselves.
Baku and Moscow however claim the offshore share of each country should be determined in proportion to the length of the coastline, a deal which would reduce Iran's share to 13 percent. — (AFP)
© Agence France Presse
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)