Treaty of Establishment, Commerce and Navigation

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The Treaty of Establishment, Commerce and Navigation (or the Treaty of Establishment, Commerce and Navigation with Full Protocols and Annex) was signed on August 25, 1935, between representatives of Iran and the Soviet Union. This accord helped to reinforce the tenets of the Russo-Persian Treaty of Friendship. Based on the terms of the treaty, both signatories reinforced their respective rights to fly their national flags on their respective commercial vessels. Moreover, both signatories were allowed to fish in the Caspian Sea within ten nautical miles (19 km) of the coastline.[1][2]

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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.
  2. ^ Mehdiyoun, p. 180. [Footnote] Treaty of Establishment, Commerce and Navigation, with Final Protocols and Annex, Aug. 25, 1935, Iran-USSR, Art. 15,176 LNTS 301,317. Article 14 stated: The Contracting Parties agree that, in conformity with the principles set forth in the Treaty of February 26th, 1921, between the Russian Socialist Federal Soviet Republic and Persia, there shall, throughout the area of the Caspian Sea, be only vessels belonging to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or to Iran and to nationals or commercial and transport organisations of one of the two Contracting Parties, flying the flag of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or that of Iran, respectively.


  • 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.