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Iran opposes Caspian oil pipeline project

By Xinhua,

Tehran : Iran has objected to the construction of an undersea oil pipeline linking Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan through the Caspian Sea, because it threatened the marine ecosystem, a media report said Saturday.

Iran’s deputy oil minister for international affairs, Hossein Noqrekar-Shirazi, said the undersea pipeline for supplying Kazakh oil to Azerbaijan poses threat to the Caspian ecosystem, Press TV reported.

“Iran is against any plan that can disturb the ecological balance of the Caspian Sea,” the report quoted the minister as saying. He added that Russia also opposes the construction of the pipeline.

In May 2000, industry officials reported a huge oil deposit in East Kashagan in the Caspian Sea off the coast of Kazakhstan.

Although Astana and Azerbaijan are ready on the pipeline project, observers say that any oil exploitation from the Caspian Sea deposits would also require consent from other countries around the Caspian.

Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Iran and Azerbaijan have not yet mapped their respective maritime boundaries on the Caspian Sea.