IP- The text of the statement delivered by Hossein Amir-Abdollahian the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran at the annual meeting of the ministers of foreign affairs of the Caspian Sea.

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In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

Your Excellency, Mr. Lavrov,

Distinguished colleagues and audience,

We cannot begin without first honoring the memory of over 16,000 recent Palestinian martyrs, with at least 10,000 among them being women and children from Gaza and the West Bank. I will discuss the Israeli regime's genocide in Gaza later on.

Holding the meeting of the ministers of foreign affairs of the coastal countries of the Caspian Sea always provides a great opportunity for mutual consideration of the issues of this sea, as well as regional and international matters. It leads to developing and strengthening the five-way cooperation in the Caspian Sea. I hope this summit will also generate more activity in all areas of cooperation in the Caspian Sea. I would like to sincerely thank His Excellency Mr. Lavrov for his invitation and also the Russian Federation for hosting the summit.


The Caspian Sea represents a shared heritage, fostering friendship among us and providing blessings to over 270 million people residing in the countries bordering this sea. As our ancestors entrusted us with this invaluable divine treasure, it is incumbent upon us to safeguard this precious legacy for future generations. The Caspian Sea region holds strategic importance as the nexus between the North-South and East-West corridors. Security within this region is integral, and we all bear the responsibility to uphold stability, security, and sustainable development across the Caspian Sea's waters.

It has been over a year since the 6th Caspian Summit and our gathering in Ashgabat in June 2022. Significant decisions were reached during that summit, and subsequent meetings and substantial efforts have been undertaken within the framework of the "Working Group of High-Ranking Officials on Caspian Sea Issues" involving the special representatives of the Caspian Sea's coastal countries. However, the collaborative process among the five nations regarding the Caspian Sea has yet to gain greater momentum. Actions taken unilaterally within the Caspian Sea, without regard for the interests of other coastal countries, result in the infringement upon the rights and interests of others. We still maintain our belief that all decisions about this sea's issues should be arrived at through consensus and agreement among the five coastal countries. We must strive to foster increased cooperation in the Caspian Sea.

Distinguished colleagues,

To truly transform the Caspian Sea into a symbol of friendship, progress, and development, it's imperative to enhance collective interaction and cooperation to the fullest extent. Our only path forward is to progress toward institutionalizing and structuring cooperation within the Caspian Sea. Consequently, it becomes necessary to establish a secretariat or an organization tasked with overseeing and managing all facets of cooperation in the Caspian Sea.

The Islamic Republic of Iran enthusiastically embraces the advancement of the sea-based economy and joint investments across maritime transportation, ports and navigation, fisheries, maritime tourism, the establishment of free trade zones, and the responsible, sustainable utilization of the Caspian Sea's living resources. Strengthening economic and commercial cooperation, alongside transportation in the Caspian Sea, stands as the pivotal force driving the development and prosperity of the coastal countries. Conducting "Caspian Economic Conferences" stands as a viable platform for enhancing cooperation within the Caspian region. Regrettably, the third Caspian economic conference at the prime ministerial level, initially agreed upon and coordinated among all coastal countries with plans in place, was postponed despite prior arrangements. We aim to propose a new date for convening this conference at the prime ministerial level among the Caspian coastal countries. Undoubtedly, the consistent hosting of this conference and the execution of its resolutions will serve the economic interests of all five coastal nations.

In recent years, significant investments have also been directed towards tourism development along the coasts of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Caspian Sea, particularly in hotel construction and the establishment of comfortable and recreational facilities. We are confident that the expansion of the tourism industry along the Caspian Sea shores generates favorable infrastructure and potential for the prosperity and advancement of the region.


The Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea, signed in Kazakhstan, delineates the rights, duties, and overall cooperation framework among the five coastal countries concerning the four maritime areas in the Caspian Sea. The exercise of sovereignty, sovereign rights, and exclusive or collective jurisdiction in these areas necessitates establishing demarcation lines. These demarcations serve as the foundation for defining precise boundaries of internal waters, territorial waters, fishing areas, and the common water zone within the Caspian Sea. Despite conducting six rounds of meetings and negotiations within the framework of the "Working Group of High-Ranking Officials on Caspian Issues" aimed at finalizing the "Agreement on the Method of Determining Direct Lines of Origin in the Caspian Sea," we must acknowledge that the negotiation process for completing this document has been slow and unsatisfactory.

We hope for the prompt convening of the seventh meeting of this working group in Baku and look forward to achieving fruitful outcomes. I propose that the meetings of this working group be held at brief intervals, ideally at least once every three months in rotation among the coastal countries. This approach would enable us to expedite the finalization of the draft agreement. The compilation and implementation of several cooperation documents involving all five nations in the Caspian Sea hinge upon reaching an agreement on demarcation lines.

Distinguished colleagues,

Currently, numerous environmental threats and challenges confront us, demanding collective cooperation among the five coastal countries. Among the most significant challenges is the threat of decreasing the water level of the Caspian Sea, stemming from both human and non-human factors. These factors encompass the diminishing water volume of rivers flowing into the Caspian Sea, climate change, the erection of dams and reservoirs, and the presence of industrial and agricultural facilities along the river entrances to the Caspian Sea. Regrettably, the sustained decrease in the Caspian Sea's water level in recent years has adversely impacted port and shipping facilities, the ecosystem, aquatic life, and the distinctive wetlands of the Caspian Sea. Moreover, it has led to an upsurge in pollutants in the coastal provinces of the Caspian Sea. Resolving this issue necessitates the collective commitment of the five coastal countries. We urge the "Working Group of High-ranking Officials on Caspian Sea Issues" to prioritize and include this matter on their agenda, collaborating with relevant institutions across the five coastal countries and adopting a scientific and operational approach.

Fortunately, after nine years, a favorable agreement was reached regarding the establishment of the Secretariat of the Tehran Convention during the consultative meeting of environmental ministers from the Caspian Sea coastal countries held in Geneva last September. It is anticipated that the special working group will convene its inaugural joint meeting in Baku in accordance with this agreement. The direct and ongoing oversight of the Caspian Sea's environment necessitates the relocation of the "Tehran Convention" secretariat to the countries bordering the Caspian Sea.

In our current era, security remains an interconnected matter. Insecurity within any region has a ripple effect, impacting the security of other areas. Hence, we aim to emphasize the significance of monitoring developments in Gaza from this perspective.

Even as we sit here, the new wave of relentless and brutal assaults by the Zionist regime against the defenseless people of Gaza persists. What was once a "crisis" has tragically escalated into a profound human catastrophe. Despite hopes for a shift from a temporary truce to a sustainable and lasting armistice, the Israeli regime, in spite of domestic and international pressure, persists in perpetrating crimes and genocide in Gaza. Over 16,000 Palestinians, including more than 10,000 children and women, have so far lost their lives. Hundreds of thousands of homes, along with numerous hospitals, medical centers, schools, mosques, and churches, lie destroyed, leaving a significant portion of Gaza's population homeless and displaced. Such abhorrent actions constitute both war crimes and collective punishment, violating the principles and regulations of international law and warranting prosecution and accountability.

The fundamental question arises: Do the distressing statistics of women and children casualties, alongside the egregious targeting of journalists, medical personnel, and innocent civilians in Gaza, not serve as ample evidence of the inhumane and criminal actions perpetrated by the Zionist regime? Is the international community still poised to stand by and witness the ongoing war crimes and genocide in Gaza?

Numerous activists and prominent human rights institutions worldwide, including the United Nations Human Rights Council's special rapporteur, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch, have unequivocally labeled the actions of the Israeli apartheid regime in Gaza as war crimes and crimes against humanity. Assessments of data released by UNICEF and other international organizations starkly illustrate that the Israeli regime holds the ignoble distinction of being the foremost perpetrator of crimes against children on the global stage. This level of infanticide surpasses even the records of extremist and terrorist groups engaged in warfare and violence in our region and other parts of the world in recent years.

It's undeniable that America furnishes fuel for the war machine and offers comprehensive support for these crimes. Through these actions, America has garnered widespread disdain within the international community while also eroding the credibility and integrity of international organizations.

Distinguished colleagues,

To prevent this dire situation, mere expressions of revulsion toward the unrelenting crimes of the Zionists in Gaza are insufficient; action beyond condemnation is imperative. It's crucial that in all regional and international forums, including this esteemed gathering, a unified stance is adopted. Coordinated and effective measures must be taken to activate all available pressure mechanisms, aiming to promptly halt the assaults by the Israeli regime's army on Gaza, facilitate the immediate delivery of humanitarian aid to this region, lift the blockade of Gaza, and stand against any perilous policies enforcing the displacement of the people.

At this critical and pivotal juncture, we firmly believe in the necessity of sending a unified and forceful message to the aggressive regime of Israel, aimed at the immediate cessation of war crimes in Gaza and the West Bank.

The Islamic Republic of Iran, in adherence to customary practices, international law, and United Nations resolutions, acknowledges the legitimate right of the Palestinian people to resist occupation. Recognizing Hamas as a Palestinian liberation organization, Iran underscores the imperative of exercising the right to self-determination and establishing a Palestinian state with the holy Quds as its capital and the return of the displaced. The Islamic Republic urges all nations, particularly within the United Nations framework, to prioritize and address this issue urgently and seriously.

The war criminals within the Israeli regime must face trial and subsequent punishment in an international court. Ceasing the export of goods and energy to the occupied Palestinian territories and implementing a boycott of Israeli-made products represent the minimum actions to display solidarity with the people of Gaza and the West Bank.

Thank you for your attention.