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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 September 2018

Beyond the Headlines podcast: How does the Caspian Sea demarcation affect Iran?

A decades-long dispute between the five Caspian countries could be close to resolution, and a weakened Iran might be left out of the oil rush.

Left to right: Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev, Russian president Vladimir Putin and Turkmenistan president Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow attended the 5th Caspian summit in Kazakhstan on August 12, 2018, to address legal status of the Caspian Sea. EPA
Left to right: Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev, Russian president Vladimir Putin and Turkmenistan president Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow attended the 5th Caspian summit in Kazakhstan on August 12, 2018, to address legal status of the Caspian Sea. EPA

The Caspian Sea is the biggest enclosed body of water on earth, but depending who you ask, it’s either the largest lake in the world or a small inland sea.

Either way, it has been a source of conflict among the five countries it borders β€” Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan β€” for the last 20 years. A recent gathering of the five countries might have resolved some of the legal matters.

But as Robin Mills wrote for The National this week, a weakened Iran might have been left out on the ensuing oil rush in the resource-rich Caspian in this resolution. He and host Naser Al Wasmi discuss how long-sought demarcation of the Caspian Sea affects Iran and the Middle East in this week's Beyond the Headlines podcast. Listen here:

We also discuss how recent sanctions against Iran have perhaps hurt their position in negotiations, and how Dubai-based Dragon Oil could benefit from demarcation talks.

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