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X. Growing Tension and the Threat of War in the Southern Caspian Sea: The Unsettled Division Dispute and Regional Rivalry

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image of Perspectives on Global Development and Technology
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The absence of an acceptable legal regime for the division of the Caspian Sea among its five littoral states has created grounds for conflicts, crises, and wars in the Caspian region, a situation worsened since 2001 when Iran, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan found each other on a collision course over the ownership of certain offshore oilfields. The region has since been heading towards militarization, while the persistence of conflicts over the Caspian Sea's division has prepared the ground for military conflicts. Fear of lagging behind in an arms and the manipulation of conflicts by the United States and Turkey have further encouraged militarization. Against this background, certain factors, including Turkey's efforts to deny Iran political and economic gains in the Caspian region, the growing American military presence in Eurasia, and the expanding American-Azeri military ties since 11 September 2001 will likely contribute to the creation of a suitable ground for a military conflict in the Caspian region.


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