Expert: Geopolitical concerns rise as Azerbaijan’s advances threaten Iran’s connections

Hossein Alaei, a former commander of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps Navy and a university professor, has issued a dire warning about Iran's geopolitical vulnerabilities in light of Azerbaijan campaign to capture Armenia's Sivnik province.

The former IRGC commander said Azerbaijan’s move, backed by Turkey and Israel, presents an imminent threat to Iran’s crucial connections with Armenia and Europe.

He added that Azeri President Illham Aliyev’s military actions benefit Turkey, mirroring a historical pattern when Reza Shah, the founder of Pahlavi Dynasty, compromised Iran’s strategic rights.

Alaei noted: “In 1310 solar year, Reza Shah’s acquiescence to Atatürk’s demands allowed Turkey to gain control over Qarasu, thereby cutting off Iran’s route to Armenia. This concession resulted in the loss of vital territory, including access to the capital of Armenia, Yerevan, which extended Iran’s journey from 30 minutes to 7.5 hours.”

The Iranian university professor went on to say that Turkey’s hold on the Aras River and border adjustments enabled it to access the Caucasus unhindered.

He stressed: “Presently, Turkey, alongside Azerbaijan and Israel, seeks to sever Iran’s land connection with Armenia by capturing Sivnik Province, utilizing the Zange Zor Pass, and pressuring Iran to relinquish its northern lands permanently.”

The retired IRGC navy commander warned that Iran’s past support for Azerbaijan during the Karabakh war without adequate guarantees now places it in a precarious position.

He said as tensions escalate, the possibility of Iran reclaiming its northern lands dwindles, casting a shadow over its geopolitical standing in the region.

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