The British Broadcasting Corporation's (BBC ) questionable interview with a so-called Russian expert has shown that Britain's national broadcaster is not as impartial as it claims to be.

According to an Iran Press report, on Sunday night, after the summit of the five Caspian Sea littoral states in Aktau, Kazakhstan, and the signing of an important  convention on the  legal status of the Caspian Sea , BBC Persian invited a so-called Russian expert to comment on the summit in Kazakhstan and the signing of the Convention by the five Caspian Sea littoral States.

"Rajab Safarov", a Russian 'expert'  on the Caspian Sea

During the one hour live programme on the summit in Kazakhstan, Russia's "expert" on the Caspian Sea, Rajab Safarov, claimed that the Islamic Republic of Iran had given up its claim to 50 percent of the Caspian Sea in negotiations back in 1996 , just a few years after the break up of the former Soviet Union in the early 1990s.

The outrageous claim quickly made headlines on the internet and was discussed in countless social media sites. In the end, the BBC was forced to ask the  Russian "expert"  to give 'a full explanation' of his (false) claim in the live broadcast on Sunday night, given the stir it had caused on the internet.

Ghasemi: Claims made by so-called Russian 'expert' completely untrue

Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi has said claims made by a Russian expert in an interview with the BBC last Sunday in relation to the Caspian Sea are completely untrue and invalid.

According to an Iran Press report, speaking on Monday , the foreign ministry spokesman reacted to comments made by "Rajab Safarov", a Russian 'expert'  on the Caspian Sea,  who in an interview with the BBC on Sunday claimed Iran had "given up its 50 percent claim" to the Caspian Sea in 1996 , after the disintegration of the former Soviet Union (in 1991 - 1992 ).

In further comments   Ghasemi said:  "We checked the records  and as far as we can tell, "Rajab Safarov" has never been  a  member of the  Russian negotiating team in negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran concerning the Caspian Sea,  and any allegation or claim that this individual has made is totally invalid and certainly does not represent the official position or stance of the Russian government."

Ghasemi pointedly added:  "The fact that these claims have been made at this particular juncture,  right on the day when the five Caspian Sea littoral states held their summit last Sunday, shows that certain parties are pursuing their own objectives by making such unfounded claims.


5th Summit of Heads of State of Caspian littoral states held in Aktau

The fifth summit of the Caspian Sea littoral states  took place last Sunday, when the Islamic Republic of Iran, Russia, Republic of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan met and signed agreements in the Seaside resort of "Actau" in Kazakhstan. Rajab Safarov made his claims in an interview with BBC after the signing of documents relating to the convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea at the summit in Actau on Sunday afternoon.

The Caspian Sea littoral states ministerial meeting was held on August 11 with the participation of foreign ministers of its member-states (Iran, Russia, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan).The previous meeting of the foreign ministers was held in Moscow on December 4-5, 2017.

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Aug 14, 2018 14:12 Asia/Tehran
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