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The relentless rise of
Iran is also making itself felt in the South Caucasus, a region ridden by
border conflicts and great-power rivalry. The inroad is Azerbaijan. The small
but oil-rich Caspian Sea state with a border issue with a neighbor is being
intensely courted by Tehran and Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. Israel, too,
cultivates its relations with Baku. Russia’s traditional policy in its backyard
– divide and rule, and sell weapons to all – may backfire under such
Professor Stefan Hedlund
Back in the 1990s, there was a gold-rush atmosphere about the Caspian Sea, which was proclaimed as the next Alaska or North Sea in terms of its oil and gas potential. But exploitation of these riches was hobbled by territorial disputes between the littoral states Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan. Now the end of this stalemate could be in sight, but the oil and gas market has moved on.
Dr. Carole Nakhle
The region around the Caspian Sea plays a role in many of the world’s most daunting challenges. From the rise of Islamic extremism to Russia’s resurgence to Iran’s renewed assertiveness, the largest enclosed body of water on earth figures in the problems’ address book. It is rich in natural resources and sandwiched between two of the globe’s most energy hungry mark...