Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Iran Slams Unilateral Caspian Action

TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran would oppose any deals for a "unilateral" exploitation of the Caspian Sea's rich oil and gas reserves and wants talks between all littoral states over the issue, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said last week.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Mahmoud Mohammadi, quoted by Tehran radio, said: "Any understanding on principles which would eventually lead to a unilateral exploitation of Caspian Sea [resources] ... would be rejected."

Mohammadi was reacting to talks between Kazakhstan and Russia in Moscow last week on how to carve up the northern part of the Caspian Sea.

"Iran ... announces its readiness for talks based on goodwill and good neighborliness toward a just and reasonable solution, which would reform and complete the legal status of the Caspian Sea and its future exploitation," Mohammadi said.

The dispute, which has slowed exploitation of the up to 200 billion barrels of oil in the seabed, centers on whether the Caspian is a sea or a lake.