Protests against the clerical regime in Iran.

Protests against the clerical regime in Iran.


Question: Iran is opening a consulate in Kafan, and Turkey is opening a consulate in Shusha. What's happening? Is the confrontation between Turkey and Iran beginning in the region  in addition to the  confrontation  between Azerbaijan and Armenia?

 Nasimi Mammadli Answer: When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Turkey and Iran were too weak to participate in regional military-political processes. The main players in the region were Russia, the US and France. At the same time, these three countries had an international mandate as co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group. Although in the post-Soviet space the word was up to Russia, the three states generally acted jointly in resolving conflicts and solving regional problems.

The status quo that lasted 30 years no longer exists. An entirely new geopolitical situation is emerging in the region, including the South Caucasus. This is not only the result of a 44-day Azerbaijani-Armenian war that ended in military victory, but also a crisis in international relations, contradictions, global environmental and cyber threats. In particular, the economic and political sanctions that Russia faces because of its war of aggression in Ukraine are gradually weakening it. In parallel with the weakening of Russia, new states are entering geopolitical competition in the region.

Against the backdrop of new geopolitical processes, Turkey's influence in the South Caucasus and Central Asia is growing rapidly. Bilateral and multilateral cooperation and allied relations of the Turkic states are established in the shortest possible time. The Iranian regime is deeply concerned about these developments. Instead of seizing the opportunity for cooperation, it tries to block it. Tehran's opening  a consulate in Kapan demonstrates its true intention. It wants to disrupt  opening  the corridor from Zangilan to Nakhchivan through the territory of Armenia by all possible means. In order to prevent the establishment of a direct land connection between Turkey and Azerbaijan, it is even ready to give up his ideological principles.

Question: What do the recent statements of Iranian officials mean, their statements that they came to Kafan to ensure the security of the Armenians, and that they will take all measures to prevent  changing the borders? What are the reasons for Iran's support for Armenia and public statements against Azerbaijan?

Answer: This behavior of Iran is not a surprise for Azerbaijan and Turkey. After the collapse of the USSR, Russia and Armenia were Iran's main strategic partners among the post-Soviet countries. Iran has supported Armenia with all its resources for 30 years. Together with Armenia, the occupied territories of Azerbaijan were destroyed and plundered. It did not protest against the destruction of our historical, religious and cultural monuments by the invaders.

Russia did through Iran all things that it could not do with regard to Azerbaijan directly, due to the internal relations of the CIS. Iran has always secretly supported the occupation of Azerbaijani territories and the aggression of Armenia. Now this has become clear, since under the current conditions the opportunity to disguise this support has been exhausted. Azerbaijan has largely secured control over Karabakh. The Armenian government cannot easily avoid signing a European Union-backed peace deal with Azerbaijan. Armenia, under various pretexts, tried to prolong this process, but this did not give serious results. And the position of Iran on this issue coincides with the position of Armenia.

If Azerbaijan gets rid of the Karabakh problem and achieves sustainable peace with Armenia, it may become the most attractive country in the region. There are enough resources for this. Economic, trade and political relations with Turkey, Central Asia and the West may further expand. The Iranian regime intends to thwart the transformation of Azerbaijan into a center of gravity for about 40 million Turks living in Iran.


Question: Are Turkish President Erdogan's visit to Azerbaijan and his statements on the eve of Iran's military exercises on the border able to silence Iran?

Answer: In recent years, Turkish-Azerbaijani relations have been at the highest level. Cooperation is deepening in the economic, political, military and security fields. Turkey is not only a member of NATO, thanks to its independent foreign policy, it also plays a very important role in world politics. Its influence in the region of the South Caucasus and Central Asia is growing rapidly. Especially, at all levels, the important support provided to Azerbaijan by Turkish President R.T. Erdogan is manifested.

Iran should understand that Azerbaijan is not alone in security issues. There are many external forces that have long been waiting for an opportunity to take decisive action against Iran. Azerbaijan has never allowed third forces to use its territory against Iran. Iran's military exercises on the banks of the Araz River and unfounded threats are not capable of keeping Azerbaijan and Turkey from their strategic goals. I would even say that this is extremely frivolous behavior. With this visit, Erdogan once again made it clear that he does not care about the upheavals of the Iranian regime.

Instead of looking for ways of fruitful cooperation with Turkey and Azerbaijan, Iran tried to deepen the contradictions in the region. The Iranian regime will soon pay a heavy price for this policy.

Question: Iran is shaken by incessant protests against the regime. If so, why is Iran turning on Azerbaijan when it should be focusing on its internal problems? Does it want to distract the people by this, or does it see the "hand of Azerbaijan" in this process?

Answer: The Iranian regime is an unfree state that rules people through fear, suppresses rights and freedoms, shoots protesters in the streets and squares, and most often carries out death sentences. The regime is trying to maintain stability solely by force. But despite the repressive measures, the tension in Iran does not subside, the protests continue. In order to divert the attention of the population from the protests, to disguise the illegal actions of the authorities, to change the direction of public discussions, it comes up with theses about the existence of an external threat.

In the current geopolitical conditions, instead of traditional foreign "enemies" has chosen Azerbaijan as its target. The Iranian regime understands that openly declaring the US, EU, and Israel as open targets is a well-worn topic. The reaction of society to this propaganda weakened. In addition, conflicts with these forces, military threats can have the opposite effect. Iran has to be wary of foreign forces capable of attacking its military installations. We have repeatedly witnessed that Iran could not adequately respond to the states that carried out high-profile assassination attempts on Iranian territory.

Only one of Iran's  seven neighbors on land, Armenia, is not a Muslim country. Iran is friends with it. And it has certain problems with  six Muslim countries. With the support of the Armenian lobby in the US and France, it is trying to influence the Iranian policy of the West. By targeting Azerbaijan and Turkey, it hopes to win covert allies in the West and the Middle East.

It is trying to sow discord between the 40 million Azerbaijanis living in Iran and the Azerbaijani and Turkish states, to push them into conflict. It will be very difficult for Iran to overcome new geopolitical transformations without losses. Serious internal upheavals, conflicts with neighbors and the policies of conservative authorities will exclude Iran from regional cooperation. Iran is the weak link in the region.

Question:  Is not Iran afraid that there are so many southern Azerbaijanis living in it, and that if it takes any step against Azerbaijan, then this may have the opposite effect?

Answer: Of course, the Iranian regime understands this danger. Indeed, the interest of the Turks living in Iran to Azerbaijan has increased significantly in recent years. There are many groups that regard Azerbaijan their homeland and promote it. The national feelings of the Turks, who in Iran are not allowed to study in their native language, prevailed over the religious-sectarian ideology. However, this has not yet turned into a sufficiently organized ideological and organizational factor capable of holding back the Iranian regime. This is one of the problems that gives courage to the Iranian regime.

Question: What can these steps of Iran lead to? Will Iran, like Russia, risk entering the territory of a neighboring country?

Answer: The possibility of Iran's direct military intervention in Azerbaijan is doubtful. In this case, fraternal Turkey, Pakistan and even Afghanistan will take adequate steps against Iran. It is unlikely that Israel, the US, the EU and other Muslim countries will be bystanders in this matter. Iran may suffer a more severe defeat in Azerbaijan than Iraq did in 1990 in Kuwait in a war known as the Gulf War.

These fluttering and the aggressive behavior of Iran cannot force Azerbaijan and Turkey to abandon their strategic goals. Instead of looking for ways of fruitful cooperation with Turkey and Azerbaijan, Iran tried to deepen the contradictions in the region. The Iranian regime would later pay a heavy price for this policy.

The entry of Iranian troops into Armenia is possible in three cases. First, Armenia should formally ask Iran about it. In this case, Armenia faces two problems. Relations with Russia and the West. Armenia is a member of the CSTO and its borders are still controlled by Russia. Without the consent of Russia, such a step is impossible.

On the other hand, the Pashinyan government, which came to power with the political and financial support of the West and seeks close cooperation with the EU, is forced to distance itself from Iran.

Secondly, this is possible with the unofficial consent of Russia and without the open objection of Armenia. And this can alienate the Pashinyan government from the West and even put an end to his power.

Thirdly, Russia must be weakened to such an extent that Iran enters Armenia without taking into account its opinion. At the moment this is not realistic. Although Russia has weakened to a certain extent, but not so much as to be powerless against Iran. In the short term, this does not seem realistic.

Iran may continue to secretly participate with Armenia in military provocations against Azerbaijan. But it will not dare to go openly into a direct collision. In my opinion, Iran's threatening statements and military threats against Azerbaijan are designed for its internal audience.


Leave a review

Great East

Чего добивается Россия в Армении, и что обещали Еревану на трехсторонней встрече в Брюсселе? - беседа с Тиграном Хзмаляном в программе "Çətin sual"

InvestPro Azerbaijan Baku & Turkiye Istanbul 2024 – two conferences in one shot

Follow us on social networks

News Line