The project is interested in Stalin and Brezhnev will be implemented
Iran is continuing preparations for the construction of the navigable channel Caspian Sea - Persian Gulf. The project has, as in the past, the strategic importance for our country. But the West, along with Turkey, are directly or indirectly hindered the creation of this artery. By the way, the United States, it is included in the anti-Iranian sanctions.
Since the 1890s, our relations with Iran were largely determined by the draft navigation channel Caspian Sea - Persian Gulf. Designed by Russian engineers in 1889-1892-m, it provides the shortest access to the Russian Indian Ocean basin, the Turkish straits of Bosporus and Dardanelles proved unnecessary for this purpose.
The appearance of the project contributed to the collective failure of Britain, France, Austria-Hungary and Germany to support the Russian proposals in 1878 in relation to the Bosporus and the Dardanelles control over these straits Petersburg and placing them along the coast of its military bases.
The fact that more than half of Russia's foreign trade volume was carried out in this way. It is for him the invaders, supported by Turkey, repeatedly penetrated into the Black Sea and, accordingly, to the shores of the empire.
But to preserve Russia's dependence on this route has been and remains one of the West's strategic objectives in the region. Not for nothing in 1997, the US anti-Iran sanctions have been extended to the project channel Caspian - the Persian Gulf. More specifically, financial and other economic penalties were exposed to companies and countries providing assistance to Iran in realizing this plan. Although US sanctions policy toward Iran is reviewed, it is unclear whether or not to lift the ban on participation in a given project.
Joint Russian-Iranian commission on the construction of the channel, created in the late XIX century, began its work in 1904. But the parties could not agree on the status of the project and most artery. Petersburg insisted on the principle of extraterritoriality, by analogy with the Suez and Panama canals, owned at that time respectively the UK and the US. Tehran offered to the channel status of the condominium (co-management parity) did not suit Petersburg, as there was no confidence in the unique pro-Russian orientation of Iran. A extraterritoriality allowed to provide military and political security of the route.
In 1908, negotiations were suspended, helped by the growing pressure on Tehran from Istanbul and London on the new channel status and timing of its construction.
The First World War, of course, is not allowed to resume the Russian-Iranian talks on the project and the subsequent normalization of relations between Turkey and Soviet Russia has reduced its relevance. RSFSR and the USSR have, as you know, the military-technical and economic aid to Turkey during its confrontation with the Entente and Greece (1919-1923). In return, Ankara in September 1924 the first guaranteed that the Bosporus and Dardanelles will never be used to the detriment of the interests of the Soviet Union.
With the death of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in November 1938 anti-Soviet, more precisely, the pan-Turkic trends in Ankara's policies have increased dramatically. The best proof of this - its part in terms of "Fuel", a joint project with Britain and France against Soviet aggression, scheduled for mid-March 1940. The plan called for, inter alia, the admission of British and French warships in the Black Sea.
But since the late 30's began to deteriorate, and the Soviet-Iranian relations, which was caused by the active influence of Britain, Germany and Turkey in the foreign policy of Tehran. There just preparing to terminate the Soviet-Iranian treaty of 1921 "Friendship and the border", which (Article 6) of the USSR in the event of a threat to its security has the right to enter the country its troops.
Teheran-43. Unknown plot
Since mid-April 1941, Turkey, under various pretexts hampered the passage of ships through the straits of the Soviet military and other goods to Yugoslavia, subjected to Nazi aggression. Known and pro-Nazi policy of Turkey in the period of the Great Patriotic War (at least until 1944 inclusive). All these factors led the Soviet Union to return to the idea of channel Caspian Sea - Persian Gulf. The project was finalized by autumn 1942 - after a joint entry of Soviet and British troops in Iran in August-September 1941 and the coming to power in Tehran anti-fascist forces led by shahin-shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
Disturbing events on the Soviet-German front, the threat of an attack on the USSR, Turkey and the approach of the German-Italian troops to the Suez Canal in 1942, could not contribute to the intensification of work on the creation of the channel Caspian - the Persian Gulf. Both sides described the project as a mutually beneficial and therefore promising. The question was raised at the talks IV Stalin MR Pahlavi, on 30 November 1943 in Tehran.
The sharp deterioration of Soviet-Turkish relations in the years 1945-1953, on the one hand, the project contributed to the resuscitation Caspian Sea - Persian Gulf. But on the other - the attempts of the USSR in the same period, "attach" to the Iranian Azerbaijan Azerbaijan SSR led to increased influence on Tehran by Washington and London. Because the project was forgotten for many years. Especially in the spring of 1953 the Soviet Union took a course on normalization of relations with Turkey, as it were, as opposed to a complicated relationship with Iran.
Since the second half of the 50th Iran's leadership has decided to restore the policy of what is called the parity cooperation with the West and the USSR. In June and July 1956 an official visit of the governmental delegation headed by Shahinshah in the Soviet Union, unprecedented in the history of bilateral relations. a series of economic agreements have been signed, do not touch, however, the channel. However, negotiations in the course of a meeting of the then USSR NA predsovmina Bulganin by Shahinshah noted (according to the minutes), that the parties attach great importance to the study of the project of construction of the shipping channel Caspian Sea - Persian Gulf. But in the final communiqué of this plot is not included. Most likely on the initiative of the Iranian delegation, so as not to irritate the Americans tried to dissuade Tehran from the project.
Nevertheless, the Soviet-Iranian Commission for the elaboration of the question, since it concerns briefed the then head of the Supreme Council of the USSR was created in 1962 LI Brezhnev during his visit to Tehran in November 1963. It was then that the parties have created a legal framework for the implementation of the project by signing an agreement "On joint use of water resources of border rivers" and "On the development of the transit of Iranian goods through the territory of the Soviet Union, Soviet - through Iran."
And in June 1965, when the place is just as ambitious as in 1956, Shahinshah visit to the Soviet Union, the two sides agreed to speed up the intensive care unit of the project, but, again, without a mention in the final communique. A preliminary version of the channel was discussed during the visit of Prime Minister of the Soviet of the USSR, AN Kosygin in Tehran in early April 1968. The project was basically approved by both parties. But according to tradition without mention in the communiqué ...
In those same years, frequent US-Iranian summit, during which the United States directly or indirectly stated discrepancy project long-term interests of the United States and its NATO allies. This position was supported by Saudi Arabia. And in Iraq, on the other hand, supported the project (which provides the shortest route between the country and the USSR), which contributed to the normalization of relations with Moscow, Baghdad, in 1974-1975 culminated in the bilateral agreement "On friendship and good neighborliness."
It is noteworthy that in the autumn of 1975 in the United States were developed plans for the overthrow of the Shah's regime and provoke Iranian-Soviet and Iranian-Iraqi confrontation. However, Washington has kept the "etiquette" in the matter of the channel: the American position on this project, too, was not included in the final communiqué of the bilateral ...
Tehran did not dare to ignore the US position. After all, up to 70 percent of the annual volume of Iranian oil exports went overseas, and the share of the United States in foreign investment in Iran exceeded 40 percent. In addition, shipments from the United States for at least 60 per cent of needs covered Iran's armed forces in arms and ammunition. And in general, the proportion of NATO countries in providing the Iranian army has reached 85 percent.
At the same time Turkey is the second half of the 60s became periodically to reduce the tariffs for the transit of Soviet foreign trade cargoes through the Bosporus and the Dardanelles. This factor was important for the Soviet Union, because, firstly, in the 60's at least 50 percent of the annual volume of export of Soviet oil was transported via this route. And secondly, the channel implementation of the project demanded enormous financial and technical resources, the allocation of which is problematic for the USSR for many domestic and foreign economic reasons.
All this contributed to the fact that the two sides not to let down the brakes on a strategic project, but chose not to accelerate its implementation. During negotiations Shahinshah in Moscow in October 1972 and AN Kosygin in Tehran in March 1973, then again outside the communique recorded the mutual benefits channel, recommending to clarify a number of technical parameters. But the legal and technological framework for the future construction is still expanding: in the course of these visits, in addition to 1963, said agreement "Program of economic and scientific-technical cooperation" was signed for 15 years and a memorandum "On the mutual encouragement of capital investment."
Total of 60-70 years in Iran with the help of the Soviet Union was built more than 60 industrial, energy and transport facilities, including one of the largest in the region Isfahan Steel Mill and adjacent to the Azerbaijan SSR nearly 500-kilometer highway Transiranskogo pipeline.
Washington, London and Ankara has insisted that the main export flow of Iranian natural gas pumped via Turkey, but Moscow and Tehran in the years 1972-1973 have agreed on the transit of Iranian gas to other European countries for 20 years after the USSR. These deliveries were to begin with the 1976, but the deterioration of the domestic political situation and the following well-known events in Iran have led to the "conservation" of the project.
In short, Caspian highway - Persian Gulf, it is extremely beneficial to Iran and the Soviet Union, it came up against an increasingly active opposition to the US and NATO. Although, judging by the said agreements and trends in bilateral relations, gradually preparing the legal, economic and technological soil.
time to build
Today, the project in the list of priority for Tehran, and in contrast to the period of the Shah in the country does not hide any channel parameter or negotiations with other countries on its construction. As noted by Iranian experts and media channel Caspian - the Persian Gulf directly brings to the Indian Ocean, not only Russia, but also most of the other countries of the former Soviet Union, as well as Europe. For potential users of this road more than half the length of a traditional water route through Turkey. Because in the finalization of the project involves not only Iran, but also foreign experts. Enter the channel in operation is planned in the 2020s.
Similar evaluations expressed by Russian experts. Speaking briefly, the navigable channel of the Caspian Sea - Persian Gulf, passing entirely through the territory of Iran, is able to provide the shortest access to the Indian Ocean basin from the North Atlantic, the Baltic, the Black Sea and Azov Sea, the Danube and the Volga-Caspian basin. This route requires the country not only as a transportation corridor, but also to provide desalinated water central drylands. However, all this, though promising, but still is only a prospect.
Even in 1996-1997, the leadership of the Ministry of Roads and Transportation of Iran, sending delegations to Russia, reported on an effort to bring its technology to the investment or construction transiranskogo waterway. Our party approved in principle these proposals, advocating for their comprehensive work, especially in the field of ecology - in view of the uniqueness of the Caspian biological media. At the same time it was agreed to study the experience of Iranian experts of the Russian hydraulic engineering. Guided Tehran delegation from Iran began to visit the White Sea-Baltic, the Volga-Baltic, the Volga-Don channel. In 1998 it was set up a joint expert group to study transiranskogo water project, and the following year the government of the Islamic Republic formally approved the revised feasibility study.
The total length of the waterway will be about 700 kilometers, including the fairways of the rivers of northwest (Caspian Sea), and south-western Iran, including the border with Iraq, the international channel of the Shatt al-Arab, about 450 kilometers. The required investment for the construction of all the arteries were evaluated by the Iranian side in 2012-2013, at least 10 billion, including the connecting transiranskomu area (north-west - south-west) - to 5.5-6 billion dollars. The total return on the project will come, according to local estimates, the fifth year from the date of commissioning. According to the same calculations, the channel will provide Russia and Iran transit revenues - respectively 1.2-1.4 and 1.4-1.7 billion dollars, since the third and fourth year of operation.
During meetings in the early 2000s, Russian-Iranian commission on trade and scientific-technical cooperation representatives Tehran offered the country a number of options for paying its technological assistance channel construction, and the construction in Russia of freight ( "river-sea") and auxiliary vessels, demanded the waterway.
Noteworthy in this regard, the recent publication of the expert group in "the Dagestan truth" (Makhachkala): "... The presence in the country factories, specialized in the shipbuilding industry, is a strong argument in favor of the establishment in Dagestan large industrial cluster for the production of ships, including the Persian Corridor" . But the project is the formation of the cluster based on the Makhachkala ship-repair factory, shipyard and has remained on paper. According to the chief engineer of the enterprise Mikhail Halimbekova, drawings, technology, calculations of construction of a modern high-tech production were produced well-known shipbuilding company in Germany, but the matter as to the place and did not move.
It was also noted that in the opinion of "many scientists, including Prof. Shihsaidov Abdullayev, on the basis of national industrial cooperation really organize competitive production vessels" river-sea ". Moreover, the use of D-known Russian designer Hamid Khalidova to build ships of mixed navigation of the new generation - "trimaran" - just meet the requirements and conditions of cargo transit through such channels as transiransky ". Especially since there has been a growing demand for such ships in the world.
It is reasonable to assume that the current geopolitical factors, including Turkey provoked a serious deterioration of relations with Russia, contribute to a more thorough study of our options to facilitate the creation of this important waterway.