Herewith for the following reasons, we the undersigned, as part of the concerned Iranian people, declare our unequivocal condemnation of the Convention recently signed under a media blackout by the representatives of the five littoral states of the Caspian Sea (CS) on Aug 12, 2018 (Mordad 21, 1397) in Aktau, Kazakhstan.
I- This Convention overrides and overwrites the 1921 and 1940 treaties between Iran and the Soviet Union, which authorized an overlap ownership (Condominium) of the entire wealth and potentials of the water mass.
II- This Convention subliminally and by default recognizes the secluded bilateral agreements between other parties on sharing seabed reserves ignoring the Iranian side.
III- This Convention forces Iran to acknowledge the ongoing exploration and exploitation activities for oil and gas reserves by other states.
IV- This Convention nonchalantly relieves itself of imposing proportional responsibilities for the harms to the unique environmental characteristics of the CS and the grave consequences of potential ecological accidents caused by the parties with oil and gas reserves, while Iran will have only to absorb the undue damages.
V- The Article 14 of this Convention, which authorizes installation of seabed pipelines for member states without reserving a veto right for Iran, undermines the geopolitical stature of Iran-o
VI- This Convention deploys a questionable platform that leaves Iran with at best 13% of the seabed ownership which holds less than 1% of the proven oil and gas reserves of the CS.
VII- This Convention generously leaves Russia almost the entire water mass to enjoy an uncontested military prowess.
According to the Article 78 of the Iranian Constitution, a resolution to any dispute regarding the demarcation of the Iranian sovereign domain borders, including coastal borders, has to be recognized as such and then ratified by at least 80% of the Majlis (Parliament) representatives.
Needless to say, any decision by the Iranian government under current unconventional and murky circumstances will culminate in harm to the interests of the nation and the future generations of Iran. We believe the ratification of this Convention by the Majlis is not only a disservice to the present, but creates a titanic task for the future to undo it.
We the undersigned declare in no uncertain terms, the finalization of such fateful Act is beyond the capacity and legitimacy of any branch of the state and even the Majlis. Thus, for the aforementioned reasons, we demand that the approval of this Convention will have to gain a great majority upvote through a national referendum regardless of its potential ratification. In the absence of such outcome, this Convention is deemed void and null by us.
This DECLARATION is addressed to the Iranian government, four other signatory parties, and the international community.