Treaty of Commerce and Navigation

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The Treaty of Commerce and Navigation was signed on March 25, 1940 between representatives of Iran and the Soviet Union. This accord helped to reinforce the tenets of the Treaty of Establishment, Commerce and Navigation. Based on the terms of the treaty, both signatories agreed to reinforce the 10-mile fishing limit for all commercial vessels in the Caspian Sea. Moreover, both signatories agreed that only Iranian and Russian commercial vessels were permitted to fish beyond the 10-mile nautical limit. The treaty did not include any clauses regarding the issue of seabed mining.[1]

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  1. ^ Mehdiyoun, p. 180. The legal regime regarding the Caspian remained unchanged until after the Russian Revolution of 1917. The 1921 Treaty of Friendship between Iran and Russia abrogated all prior treaties and restored Iranian shipping rights in the Caspian. Under the Treaty of Establishment, Commerce and Navigation concluded by the two states on August 25, 1935, each party "reserv[ed] to vessels flying its own flag the right to fish in its coastal waters up to a limit of ten nautical miles." They reaffirmed the 10-mile fishing zone in the Treaty of Commerce and Navigation of March 25, 1940. Beyond the 10-mile zone, fishing was allowed only to Soviet and Iranian nationals. The Treaty was silent on seabed mining.


  • Mehdiyoun, Kamyar. "Ownership of Oil and Gas Resources in the Caspian Sea." The American Journal of International Law. Vol. 94, No. 1 (January 2000), pp. 179–189.