Despite more than two decades of efforts by the Caspian Sea littoral states to fully stabilize the maritime borders, sporadic violent incidents still erupt among some of the neighbors. Latest move by Turkmenistan’s sea guard to shoot and kill two Iranian fishermen has caused Iran to ask for an official explanation from Ashgabat.
کد خبر: ۷۸۴۸۴۱
تاریخ انتشار: ۰۳ فروردين ۱۳۹۷ - ۱۹:۵۷ 23 March 2018

Tabnak – Despite more than two decades of efforts by the Caspian Sea littoral states to fully stabilize the maritime borders, sporadic violent incidents still erupt among some of the neighbors. Latest move by Turkmenistan’s sea guard to shoot and kill two Iranian fishermen has caused Iran to ask for an official explanation from Ashgabat.

On March 22, some Iranian media reported that Turkmenistan border guards opened fire, killing two Iranian fishermen and detaining another two for trespassing. The reports say the incident happened on Tuesday night when the four young fishermen were sailing near the edge of Iranian territorial waters in the Caspian Sea.

Following these reports, Iran asked for “immediate” explanation from Turkmenistan on the incident. "We are strongly protesting the indiscreet action of Turkmenistan’s border guards in shooting at a fishing and civilian boat," Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said in a statement on Thursday.

Qassemi said, "Immediately after the incident and the circulation of this unfortunate news, the Foreign Ministry and Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Turkmenistan contacted Turkmen authorities and seriously followed up the issue."

They filed an official note, asking Turkmenistan's government for an explanation about the incident, the spokesman said, stressing that further follow-ups were continuing.

"Even if the Iranian fishermen had approached Turkmenistan’s waters, based on the usual international practice, the border guards could have driven them away from the stretch of their country’s waters,” he said.

"Therefore, we call for an immediate and official explanation from the responsible authorities in Turkmenistan and hope that, given the friendly relations between the two countries, all aspects of the incident will be clarified with the cooperation of the country's competent authorities," Qassemi added.

In recent years, incidents of Turkmen border guards opening fire and shooting at Iranian boats have become frequent in the Caspian Sea where fishing boats often report poor visibility and technical failures.

Iran, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Russia share the Caspian Sea, an inland sea that is a lucrative source of caviar, gas and oil. Fishing activities aside, the littoral states are yet to introduce a consensual legal regime for the Caspian and this adds to the complexities surrounding international relations in this geopolitically important part of the world.

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