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Grand Caspian Theft

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If you do not believe that Iranian Mullahs have a secret link to the Whitehouse; and if you do not believe that the Mullah's have fooled everyone with a strategy of public enmity and private amity with the US (and Britain); and if you do not think Iran directly supported the US invasion of both Afghanistan and Iraq; and if you think killing over 300,000 communists by the Mullahs was a small domestic incident; and if you do not think there is a coincidence between Russian complaints at the security council two days ago of American placement of missiles on its border with Poland and Rumania (justified by the United States because of perceived threats from Iran's missile program) and Iranian Missile tests this week (to support American justifications to the Russians); ....then maybe one more set of facts about the grand Caspian Sea theft will persuade you that these Mullahs are indeed western puppets!

These Mullahs are giving away Iran's national wealth in the Caspian Sea directly to US and British oil companies. The Caspian Sea has something like 12 Trillion dollars of Oil today (and it could be worth double or triple that within a few years if oil prices keep rising). And, beyond the wealth, with all this energy in its hands, the United States now has a stranglehold on the world's largest energy reserves - both in Iraq and now in the Caspian Sea (and thus key bargaining chips in dealing with an emerging China). As Vice President Cheney recently stated "The Caspian Sea is now akin to the Persian Gulf in terms of strategic importance to the United States".

Here's how the Mullahs have sold out Iran:


It all starts with the break up of the Soviet Union. American and British Oil Companies quickly moved in and set up shop in former Soviet republics...such as Azarbaijan (BP), Kazakhstan (Conoco), Uzbekistan (Unocal, now merged with Conoco). Condoleeza Rice, by the way, prior to working at the White House, was a director of Conoco and has an oil supertanker named after her.

- The break up of the Soviet Union then provided a pretext for the 'defacto' annulment of Iran's treaty with Russia involving the Caspian Sea's the newly established (independent) republics. These republics went ahead and sold licenses to the Sea bed and started extraction of natural resources in contravention of the treaty governing the Caspian Sea - claiming it did not apply to them!

- The Treaty in question is called "The Russo-Persian Friendship Treaty". It was signed in 1921, superseding all previous agreements. It was ratified by both governments and enforced for over 50 years and has actually NOT been superseded by any other formal agreement. It treated the Caspian Sea as a Lake with equal rights to both parties bordering the Caspian. Iran thus had 50% rights (in every respect, fishing, mineral resource, navigation, etc.) to the Caspian Sea (and its sea bed). This agreement has remained in force through multiple governments (democratic and non-democratic), and the second world war, etc. It has been tested and remained in force.

Since the break up of the Soviet Union, which occurred a few years after Iran's revolution, there has been an effort to negotiate a new treaty involving all the littoral states bordering the Caspian. It appears now, based on the memorandums that have been exchanged, that Iran's Mullahs will now settle and sign for something under 13% of the Caspian Sea!

This, my friends is a travesty and a crime. There is no basis for Iran to accept anything less than the 50% it already owns.

First of all, Iran did not "Break Up" the Soviet Union - the Soviets themselves did it. The Russians can distribute their 50% share anyway they want - but have no rights to give away or allocate Iran's interests.

Secondly, having been treated as a lake in prior treaties, no one can come along now and claim it is a Sea (defined as part of an Ocean) as if there was direct navigation to the Caspian from an ocean, with bordering states only being allowed to claim water some distance from their own land...as international Treaties governing Seas and Oceans do. There are many other examples of salt lakes such as the Great Salt Lake, and the Dead Sea which are treated as lakes by their littoral states. Labeling the Caspian a Sea does not immediately (scientifically, or geographically) make it a sea. It's a misnomer.

Thirdly, the issues governing allocations of the Caspian Sea bed and resources can not be divorced from a whole host of other issues - such as environmental protection, and water flow rights from inbound rivers. What if someone has a massive oil rig explosion and pours oil into the Sea that floats into another country's beaches, or what if a pipeline ruptures carrying oil or gas from the Caspian, or what if Russia suddenly decides to limit water flow into the Caspian by the Volga river, or decides to increase its already high levels of sewage waste and effluent being poured into the Volga River which then finds its way into the Caspian Sea? All this squabbling over the Sea could be meaningless if the Sea dries out (like the Aral Sea did nearby ...when the Russians cut off water flow to it). In fact the right approach would be to create a policing and regulating authority (like for example "The Caspian Sea Authority" to manage many of these interrelated issues on a day to day basis).

Fourth, any negotiation has to be based on a larger context of the relationship of these independent countries with each other and Iran. Iran can certainly negotiate its interests down, if for example it establishes a larger economic and political block with its neighbors - where like the European Union they might share a currency, a central bank, economic policy, foreign policy etc. Certainly with 20 Million Azeris in Iran and only about 10 Million Azeris in Azarbaijan, there is a basis for some degree of connectivity; and the same applies with Turkmens in Iran and Turkmenistan. Thus Iran could give away its mineral rights but have (in return) an opportunity to increase exports and trade in higher value added goods and thus share in the prosperity it is giving away. Iran could be guaranteed pipeline deals to export the hydrocarbons through its southern ports. Right now, it looks like both Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are by passing Iran with a pipeline through Afghanistan. Apparently Iran's neighbors do not trust the Islamic Republic enough to put their lifelines through Iran (although it would be by far, the most efficient option.)

Finally, how can anyone sit around any table to negotiate any rights and consider others at the table as legitimate representatives of their nations? Azarbaijan is a dictatorship with a President for Life (that George Bush anointed an honorary Texan), Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are similarly ruled by dictators. And indeed, Iran's current government has no legitimacy. It is a puppet government established by and directly imposed on Iran by the United States (Remember: the Shah was destabilized, Ramsey Clark was sent to Paris to prepare Khomeini for the take over, and General Huyzer was sent to Iran to dampen the Shah's Military and thus enable the Theocratic Coup). The switch from direct links with Carter and direct links with the Reagan Camp (October Surprise) are now well documented. The Mullahs switched allegiance from Carter to Reagan before the presidential elections, there was a signed bible to Rafsanjani from Ronald Reagan, Iran-Contra, and direct Iranian support for the invasion of Afghanistan....

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Jalil Bahar Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Former Iranian Diplomat, now retired real estate investor in Delaware
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