1. The developments of Eurasia can also include the Caspian Sea, & the formative circles of Eurasia could be reached together in this region. The Central Asia and Caspian region enjoy enough potential to become the focus of international attention in the coming years due to various factors in economic and security fields as well as special geopolitical situation.
2. The Central Asia, Caucasus, and Caspian Sea enjoy big opportunities while facing major challenges the most important of which is rivalry among global and regional powers in order to dominate the region.
3. At present, there are three major groups of actors in the said regions including:
a. Iran and Russia as core countries of the regional subsystem;
b. Europe and the United States, which work in concert, are trying to complete their influence in Eurasia and dominate the strategic east-west axis, which extends up to Japan;
c. Regional countries including Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, are not only regional actors, but also major targets for the said concert.
4. Due to geopolitical and geostrategic vacuum resulting from disintegration of the former Soviet Union, we are currently witnessing two different lines of thought in Central Asia, Caucasus, and Caspian region subsystem:
a. A dynamic realistic line of thought which considers economy and integration into global economy as a basic principle for improving internal structure of countries and believes that Russia is still a regional superpower and the pivot of the regional subsystem that can only ensure its security and interests through maintaining its hegemonic position.
b. A strategic pluralistic line of thought which seeks to integrate regional countries into global arrangements by getting rid of regional arrangements. Therefore, its agenda includes extensive cooperation with the west to control Russia and contain Iran in a bid to govern energy resources of the region.
5. The United States considers control of energy resources of the Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea as vital to its national security strategy and has adopted a multifaceted policy with political, security, economic, cultural and military aspects including expansion of NATO within frame of “Partnership for Peace” initiative to complete its dominance over Eurasia, control the whole region and Russia, and implement its policy of “a region without Iran”.
6. Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea regions account for about 70 percent of the world’s energy resources and Iran is located at the center of the said strategic regions. The superb geopolitical, geoeconomic, and transit situation of Iran along with its historical, civilizational, and cultural background, which is thousands of years old, has faced implementation of “a region without Iran” strategy with major impediments and challenges. At the same time, it has greatly increased the cost of presence of all influential powers in the region.
7. Terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, organized crime, and drug trafficking are major regional as well as global concerns, which also include important concerns with regard to nuclear issues. Major problems currently facing the region include:
a. Proliferation of nuclear weapons;
b. Dissemination of know-how and technology for building nuclear weapons;
c. Decentralization of nuclear weapons in the region;
d. Disorder of disarmament process;
e. The risk of sudden and unexpected use of such weapons;
f. Emergence of nuclear terrorism;
8. The approach taken by some powers and influential actors in “militarizing the Caspian region” and “establishment of military bases” is an important reason for military and security challenges currently facing the region.
9. Major rivalry among regional and global actors over five main routes of energy transfer has led to “conflict of interests” between regional and international actors.
10. The case of Caspian Sea, beside economical & political importance, has been directly related to national security & determining sovereignty boundaries & borders of all five coastal states, same as Iran. Iran believes that the legal regime of Caspian Sea must be determined with combination of economy & security factors that will secure all coastal countries sovereignty & economical interests. Bilateral & trilateral contracts would not lead to interests of regional countries. Caspian Sea could play as “Sea of peace”, a pattern for same regions.
11. The above points are but part of problems facing the region and do not delineate a promising future of cooperation between Europe and Asia. Therefore, we have to review our viewpoints and strategies. The following points can facilitate a positive future outlook of cooperation between Asia and Europe:
a. In order to ensure peace, stability, and security in the region, all influential powers should accept the principle of “regional cooperation system among regional states” and pay attention to the following important facts:
i. Preventing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and changing Central Asia, Caucasus, Caspian, Persian Gulf, and Middle East into regions free from weapons of mass destruction;
ii. Making corporate efforts to fight terrorism and extremism;
iii. Taking cooperative measures to fight organized crime and drug trafficking.
b. Regional states should have cooperate with all powers outside the region to foster constructive interaction and cooperation in political and security fields and through which, both sides would come to a correct understanding of each other’s interests and respect mutual interests.
c. An end should be put to military presence of transregional powers in the region and Caspian Sea should be looked upon as a demilitarized region.
d. “Cooperation”, “partnership”, and “fair distribution and sharing of interests and resources” among regional states; on the one hand, and between regional states and influential foreign powers; on the other hand, should take the place of the current strategy, which is characterized by “rivalry”, “monopoly”, “hegemony”, “militarism”, and “unilateralism”.I believe that the interests of Iran, regional countries and the west are mutual and Iran, due to its special geographical, cultural, and historical situation, should be considered as an international entity. Eliminating tensions and hostilities between Iran and the United States and attention by Tehran and Washington to common interests in the region and the whole world, especially with respect of energy transfer, disarmament and fighting terrorism; would be very important in this regard.