Characterizing Geopolitical Factors Affecting Establishment of Legal Regime in Caspian Sea

Document Type : Original Article


1 Full Professor of Political Geography, Tarbiat Modares Univeristy, Tehran, Iran

2 - Assistant Professor of International Law, University of Mazandaran, Babolsar, Iran

3 Ph.D Graduated of Political Geography, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran


Extended Abstract
Caspian Sea is a closed sea, which has not a determined legal regime until now. The main problem is originated from geographical conditions. In the 1982 convention, establishment of legal regime for closed sea are limited for costal states. Caspian Sea is a critical region due to non-comprehensive agreement for delimitation. Specific geopolitical conditions after Soviet collapse provide territorial delimitation, regional influence, and competition between regional and infra-regional powers. Geopolitical parameters could influence delimitation and increase reach to maritime regions. These parameters consist of intraregional relationships patterns, territorial delimiting, regional influence, competition, presence and threat of regional and infra-regional powers which evaluated according to the 1982convention.
The present study is aimed to investigate the role of geopolitical conditions as effective geographical parameters to establish Caspian Sea legal regime using content and data analysis method based on library resources.
Result and discussion
 Utilization of hydrocarbon resources in Caspian Sea and its transportation caused to presence of infra-regional states with different economically and strategically interests. Entrance of infra-regional states caused reaction of regional states which challenge stability in the region and makes a competence between these states. This competition initiated a conflict and new security problems which produced the most problems in the regional security, ethnic conflicts, benefits disagreements between regional and infra-regional states, competition and political conflicts. Accordingly, infra-regional states started political contest to control and utilize energy resources in the Caspian region. This contest could be making the biggest world chaos in the region. Russia and Iran are more sensitive to this impact as compared to other states. The US, moreover, attempts to make various policies to ban Russia and Iran impact. It seems that the solution for the Caspian Sea legal regime dramatically affected by infra-regional politics and geopolitics and their competition. This competition can delay legal regime establishment.
The results revealed that utilization of hydrocarbon resources and transportation could pave the way to infra-regional states entrance with different economical and strategic interests in the Caspian Sea. Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan states are intended to attract infra-regional states because of inconvenience to regional states. The regional states (Iran and Russia) recognize the presence of infra-regional states such as the US as a threat and would like to compete with this phenomenon.


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