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Iran’s President: Caspian Sea, “Sea of Peace and Development”

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has urged the Caspian Sea littoral states to strengthen collective cooperation in order to improve regional security and stability.

“It is appropriate that in addition to cooperation among the littoral states of this Sea to establish collective security, we do not allow the sea and its coasts, which have special significance for its littoral states, to turn into a haven for extremism, terrorism, narcotics and organized crimes,” Rouhani said.

He proposed that all the Caspian Sea littoral states unanimously call it the “Sea of Peace and Development” and prepare the ground for achieving this goal according to a specific timetable through intense consultation.

“The only way to achieve peace, stability and sustainable development in the region is to pay attention to the long-term interests of all the Caspian Sea littoral states and observe the principle of consensus in all decisions which are taken,” Rouhani stated.

The Iranian president also called on the Caspian Sea littoral states to take part in common ventures in different fields in the service of their shared interests.

He urged the littoral states to take necessary action to protect the unique natural resources of the Caspian Sea, saying it is necessary to observe ecological criteria in all regional and national plans.

Iran’s President also said no military force must be allowed to enter the Caspian Sea region under the pretext of protecting its security.

“There is consensus among all the Caspian Sea littoral states that they are capable of maintaining the security of the Caspian Sea and military forces of no foreign country must enter the sea,” Rouhani said.

He called on the Caspian Sea littoral states to attach due significance to their common interests and interactions.

“The nations’ interests and joint cooperation can strengthen unity among the Caspian Sea littoral states,” the Iranian president added.

He noted that energy, transportation, fisheries and tourism are among grounds for cooperation among the Caspian Sea states.

Iranian President also said Iran and Russia's common interests have strengthened the two countries' cooperation, saying Tehran and Moscow are determined to further improve ties.

"The importance of Russia has increased in Iran’s regional and strategic relations and numerous meetings between the two countries’ officials are a proof of the consolidation of ties and the two sides’ determination to expand them,” Rouhani said.

Rouhani added that he had held meetings with the Russian president four times over the past year and discussed bilateral, regional and international developments.

President Rouhani also touched upon the issue of anti-terrorism campaign and said, “Those who currently intend to lead the fight against terrorists in the region have started to pay attention to this the problem too late. This is among the Iranian nation’s honors that it identified the danger before others and fought it.”

In another development Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has criticized anti-Iranian comments by British Prime Minister David Cameron at the United Nations, calling them “inappropriate and unacceptable.”

The Iranian president said his meeting with Cameron had been held upon a request by the British government.

"The meeting with David Cameron, the English premier, was requested by London and during his address he made a statement that was inappropriate,” President Rouhani said.

Rouhani said the meeting focused on Iran’s nuclear energy program, the issues of “violence,” and “instability” in the region along with Tehran-London bilateral ties.

Rouhani said he held several other meetings with high-ranking officials of different countries, including the presidents of France, Turkey, Iraq, Venezuela, and Switzerland as well as the premiers of Lebanon, and Japan.

The president also made remarks about nuclear talks between Iran and the Sextet of world powers describing the talks as progressive.

Iran’s President said if the P5+1 group shows real determination, a final nuclear agreement between Tehran and the six powers is possible before the November 24 deadline.

Iran is firmly determined to reach an agreement with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - Russia, China, France, Britain, and the United States – plus Germany by the November deadline and if the opposite side is committed as firmly, “we can come to an agreement,” President Rouhani said.

The Iranian president urged the negotiating partners to show more resolve, addressing particularly the United States which, he said, has been dragging its feet more than others even though all parties understand the necessity for reaching an agreement as soon as possible.

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