“Caspian Constitution” and New Horizons of Cooperation between Azerbaijan and Iran

Cover Page

Cite item


In the modern world the struggle for access to hydrocarbon fields and for routes to world markets has a significant impact on the political and economic processes at the global and regional levels. One of the regions in which the energy factor plays a significant role is the Caspian basin, which has rich oil and gas fields, as well as significant transport potential that can reliably connect Russia, South Caucasus and Central Asia with the European region. In view of the geopolitical, geostrategic and energy importance of the Caspian Sea, the solution of the question on its legal status was one of the central tasks in the foreign policy of the Caspian states. The problem of determining the international legal status of the Caspian arose due to the cessation of the existence of the USSR and the increase of number of Caspian littoral states interested in the territories of the Caspian from two (USSR and Iran) to five (Russian Federation, Republic of Kazakhstan, Republic of Turkmenistan, Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) and Republic of Azerbaijan (RA)). From that moment, the protracted period of their negotiations on relevant issues on a bilateral and multilateral basis began, which resulted in the signing of the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian in August 2018, or so-called “Caspian Constitution”. This article examines the main milestones in the development of this problem and notes the importance of the signed “Constitution” in terms of the interests of the RA and Iran. At the same time, the author pays special attention to the adoption of the aforementioned Convention, which may further influence to the Azerbaijani-Iranian relations. The author notes that today favourable conditions have been created for energy cooperation between Baku and Tehran in the Caspian Sea, and also emphasizes the key importance of solving the problem of the legal status on the Caspian Sea for security and developing economic relations between the two countries, in particular, its role in the international energy corridor project. In addition, the importance of cooperation between Azerbaijan and Iran in the field of transit traffic in the framework of the “North-South” international transport corridor project has been analyzed. The author concludes that the signed Convention will serve as an additional impetus for the development of bilateral cooperation.

About the authors

Mirmehdi Mirkamil oglu Agazade

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)

Author for correspondence.
Email: aghazada53@gmail.com

postgraduate student of the Department of the Theory and History of International Relations, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)


  1. Aliyev, A. (2009). Sahilyanı dövlətlərin Xəzər siyasəti. Tarix və onun problemləri. N 1. S. 192—201 [Caspian Policy of the Coastal States. History and its Problems, 1, 192—201]. (in Azerbaijani).
  2. Aslanlı, A. (2014). Geosiyasi rəqabət və Geoiqtisadi maraqlar zəminində Xəzər hövzəsinin “Qordi düyünü”. Bakı. [Geopolitical Competition and the “Gordian Knot” of the Caspian Basin on the Basis of Geoeconomic Interests. Baku]. URL: http://www.kas.de/wf/doc/kas_39805-1522-1-30.pdf?141202142145 (accessed: 11.11.2018). (in Azerbaijani).
  3. Aslanlı, K. (2017). İran-Azerbaycan ekonomik ilişkileri. İran araşdırmalar merkezi. [Iranian-Azerbaijani Economic Relations. Center of Iranian Studies]. (in Azerbaijani).
  4. Bahgat, G. (2007). Prospects for Energy Cooperation in the Caspian Sea. Communist and Post-Communist Studies, 40 (2), 157—168. doi: 10.1016/j.postcomstud.2007.03.006.
  5. Bantekas, I. (2011). Bilateral Delimitation of the Caspian Sea and the Exclusion of Third Parties. The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law, 26, 47—58.
  6. Barabolya, P.D., Bahov A.S., Ivanashchenko L.A., Kolesnik D.N., Logunov V.D., Molodcov S.V., et al. (1966). Military Navy International Legal Directory. Moscow: Voenizdat publ. (in Russian).
  7. Gasanov, A.M. (2013). Modern International Relations and Foreign Policy of Azerbaijan. Zardabi LTD publ. (in Azerbaijani).
  8. Guseynov, V.A. (2001). Caspian Problem: Geopolitical and Economic Aspects. Vestnik Analitiki, 2, 86—137. (in Russian).
  9. Habibi-Rudsari, R. (2013). Russian-Iranian Relations in the Caspian Sea Region. Political Expertise: POLITEX, 9(2), 110—121. (in Russian).
  10. Harunoğulları, M. (2018). Legal Status of the Caspian Sea and Sharing of Energy Resources: Disputes and Struggles between the Riparian Countries. International Journal of Geography and Geography Education, 38, 202—217. doi: 10.32003/iggei.440886.
  11. Ismailova, A.M. (2013). Gulistan Peace Treaty of 1813 and Russian Policy in the South Caucasus in the 19th Century. CSU Bulletin, 36 (327), 40—43. (in Russian).
  12. Kocaman, M.E. (2018). Hazar havzasinin hukuki statüsü. Ege stratejik araştirmalar dergisi. [Legal status of the Caspian basin. Aegean Journal for Strategic Studies], 9(1), 99—114. doi: 10.18354/esam.387714.
  13. Larin, A.B. (2014). The Turkmanchay Peace Treaty and the Forming the New Russian Policy in Iran. Vestnik of Samara State University, 5 (116), 56—61. (in Russian).
  14. Lashaki, A.B., Goudarzi, M.R. & Amraei, D. (2013). The Roots of Tension in South Caucasus: The Case of Iran-Azerbaijan Relationship. Journal of Politics and Law, 6 (4), 141—149.
  15. Mehdiyoun, K. (2000). International Law and the Dispute over Ownership of Oil and Gas Resources in the Caspian Sea. The American Journal of International Law, 94(1), 1—17.
  16. Məmmədov, F., Vəliyev, C. & Məmmədov, A. (Redaktorlar). (2017). Azərbaycan Respublikasının xarici siyasətinin əsas istiqamətləri (1991—2016): məqalələr toplusu. Bakı: Poliart MMC. [Mamedov, F., Valiyev, J. & Mamedov, A. (Eds.). (2017). The Main Directions of the Foreign Policy of the Republic of Azerbaijan (1991—2016): Digest. Baku: Poliart MMC publ.]. (in Azerbaijani).
  17. Paul, A. (2015). Iran’s Policy in the South Caucasus — Between Pragmatism and Realpolitik. In: The South Caucasus: Between Integration and Fragmentation. Baku: SAM, 53—60.
  18. Salamova, N.A. (2007). Caucasus and Crimea in Russian-Turkish Relations from the Treaty of Reshta to the Treaty of Ganja (1732—1735). Eastern Archive, 16, 11—15. (in Russian).
  19. Vəliyev, C. & Məhəmmədi, M. (Redaktorlar). (2018). Azərbaycan-İran əməkdaşlığı: əsas istiqamətlər və imkanlar. Bakı. [Veliev, J. & Muhammadi, M. (Eds.). (2018). Azerbaijan-Iranian Coopera¬tion: Main Directions and Opportunities. Baku.]. (in Azerbaijani).
  20. Yusifzade, Kh. (1994). The Status of the Caspian. Azerbaijan International, 2(4), 30. URL: http://azer.com/aiweb/categories/magazine/24_folder/24_articles/24_statuscaspian.html (accessed: 16.05.2018).

Copyright (c) 2018 Agazade M.M.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies