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.
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.
Heads of the five Caspian Sea littoral states signed the legal regime convention of the sea on Sunday.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attended the summit and held separate bilateral meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Leaders of the five littoral states signed a joint statement in which they called the Caspian Sea as the Sea of peace and solidarity.
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.