< HOME  Thursday, April 13, 2006

Something Fishy's Going On

Apparently, Iran is doing something right. Of all the caviar producing nations, only Iran is allowed to export under a worldwide ban imposed by the UN.
A worldwide suspension of caviar exports has been extended on major producing nations except Iran, a U.N. diplomat said Wednesday.

The decision amounts to an indefinite extension of a ban that was imposed three months ago in an effort to reverse dwindling populations of threatened sturgeon in the Caspian Sea region.

The world's top caviar exporting nations surround the Caspian Sea and account for 80 percent of the global trade.

The U.N. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, or CITES, declined this week to renew export quotas for most Caspian Sea countries, said the diplomat, who requested anonymity because the official announcement wasn't expected until Thursday.

The exception was Iran. According to the CITES Web site, the Mideast nation was approved to export up 100,000 pounds of caviar.

The U.N. diplomat did not elaborate on the agency decision and the CITES Web posting did not specify why other key exporters - Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan - were not allowed to resume limited sales abroad.

However, the Web site explained that if no quotas are posted, that was an indication that caviar harvesting nations haven't provided all requested information or the agency hasn't made a final decision on the information provided.
If Iran's compliance with the UN's caviar ban is any indication of their level of compliance under the NPT, then Americans have nothing to worry about.


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