Saturday, April 20, 2024

Any Azerbaijan bid to change region’s geopolitics by force to face Iran’s response: Expert

An Iranian expert on Russia and the Caucasus says any Azerbaijan's attempt to militarily open a ground corridor to its exclave Nakhichevan via Armenia threatens to eliminate Iran’s historical border with Armenia, adding the move will face an Iranian response.

Hassan Beheshtipour told Entekhab news outlet that Azerbaijan was attempting to open a ground route to Nakhichevan — an Azeri exclave separated from mainland Azerbaijan by Armenian territory — through military force and was clearly being hostile against Armenia.

“The question now is whether opening that corridor will eliminate Iran’s border with Armenia. If [the Azeri military campaign in Armenia] has such an objective, it will certainly be confronted with an Iranian response,” Beheshtipour said.

The Iranian border with Armenia is “historical and strategic” for Iran, the commentator said, adding Iran “will not accept” that mere ground access for Azerbaijan to Nakhichevan entail the elimination of that border, especially since such access both can be made possible further to the north in Armenian territory and has for the past 30 years been allowed via Iranian territory.

Iran, he said, would “definitely… prevent the realization of such a plot.”

Hassan Beheshtipour

Beheshtipour said Azerbaijan was currently seeking to both drive Armenia out of Nagorno-Karabakh and to find ground access to Nakhichevan via Armenia’s Syunik Province. “Baku is exerting pressure through different channels in the form of military action as well as political negotiations and lobbying to reach those goals,” he said.

He said Azerbaijan could link Nakhichevan to the mainland via peaceful means.

For now, he said, “one has to wait and see whether they (the Azeris) will stop or continue with these [current coercive] policies.”

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