In recent months, Armenia and Azerbaijan have been involved in intense negotiations to sign a peace deal, with talks taking place in Brussels, Washington DC and Sochi. The existence of different formats gave the sides some flexibility. Armenia-Azerbaijan relations could become part of the ongoing conflict between Russia and the West as the conflict between the arbitrators continues to escalate, which could drive the process insane. While experts and pundits seek ways to avoid that scenario, the South Caucasus is slowly moving toward becoming another rivalry battlefield, this time between Iran and Israel.
Many may wonder what these ties have in common with Armenia, Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh. There was little to tie Around 2010, things began to change when Azerbaijan began strategic defense cooperation with Israel and began purchasing billions of dollars worth of weapons from Israel, including loitering munitions, advanced anti-tank missiles and reconnaissance drones. rice field. Israeli weapons proved useful in the April 2016 Four Day War, but their large-scale deployment in the 2020 Artsakh War will play a key role in securing Azerbaijan’s military victory. I did it. Azerbaijan-Israel cooperation goes far beyond defense cooperation. Azerbaijan has allowed Israel to use its territory for various anti-Iranian activities, including recruiting Iranian citizens who have visited Azerbaijan for various reasons. Tehran has always watched the growing Azerbaijan-Israel cooperation with caution. Iran has expressed interest in turning Azerbaijan into a launch pad for anti-Iranian activity, including the potential for separatist ideas to spread among the millions of Azeri-speaking populations along the border between Iran and Azerbaijan. I had In this context, the 130-kilometer Nagorno-Karabakh border with Iran was in line with Iran’s national interests. Azerbaijan has taken control of the border between Nagorno-Karabakh and Iran after the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war. Iran officially welcomed Azerbaijan’s victory.
Tehran has always supported the territorial integrity of all regional states and has never publicly questioned that Karabakh is legally part of Azerbaijan.However, Azerbaijan and Israel after the 2020 war increased cooperation has raised suspicion in Iran. Azerbaijan continued to make large arms purchases from Israel, and high-level Israeli military delegations continued to visit Azerbaijan. Iranians were asking themselves why Azerbaijan still needs Israeli weapons and bilateral defense cooperation with Israel after its military victory over Armenia. If Azerbaijan explained these activities before her 2020 war with the need to build up its military power to defeat Armenia after November 2020, this argument would appear unreliable. increase. The opening of two “civil airports” in Azerbaijan-occupied territory during the 2020 war near the Azerbaijan-Iranian border has raised further questions for Iran. Given the sparse population of these areas, the only rational explanation for opening these two her airports is the possibility of using them as military airports. Their position indicated that Armenia was not the only target.
Military cooperation between Azerbaijan and Israel has become critical for Iran when negotiations to restore the Iranian nuclear deal reached a deadlock and Israeli officials began publicly spreading the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Not surprisingly, Iran launched several large-scale exercises along its border with Azerbaijan in October 2021 and late last month.
2 November 2022, Azerbaijan arrested Nineteen citizens accused Iran of being trained and funded to spy for intelligence services. On November 7, Iran’s Ministry of Information said that Azerbaijani citizens were the main organizers and coordinators of the October 26, 2022 terrorist attack at the Shah Cherah Mosque in Iran’s Shiraz province. A few days later,The Iranian Foreign Ministry has summoned the Azerbaijani ambassador to Tehran to protest a propaganda campaign against Iran by officials and media in the country.On November 14, five more Azerbaijani citizens were arrested on charges of high treason in cooperation with Iran’s intelligence services. Iranian authorities are now grappling with months of protests and nationwide demonstrations, and the Iranian government sees Israel’s growing influence in Azerbaijan with concern. They are primarily concerned about the possible use of territories located along the border between Azerbaijan and Iran by Israeli forces and other services as a serious threat to Iran’s security and stability.
Addressing the 9th Turkish State Organization Summit on November 11, 2022, President Ilham Aliyev said: Most of the 40 million Azerbaijanis living outside Azerbaijan have been deprived of the opportunity to study in their native language. It was a flimsy allusion to Iran, only adding to Iran’s concerns that Azerbaijan could be used to sow destabilization in the country’s northern regions.
Transforming Azerbaijan into another Iran-Israel battlefield would adversely affect the already complex Azerbaijan-Armenia negotiation process. The South Caucasus is at risk of becoming embroiled in various conflicts, only increasing the involvement of external actors in regional geopolitics. Azerbaijan probably acted ill-advised by bringing foreign countries such as Israel and Pakistan into the region to aid Baku in its rivalry with Armenia. is already out. Armenia must be careful not to be seen as overtly anti-Israel or pro-Iran.
Armenia should also inform Israel that Tehran’s current position in the South Caucasus asserts the inviolability of its borders and contributes to regional stability. Everyone understands that Israel has the full right to supply arms to any country it wants. However, with Azerbaijan using Israeli weapons to seize Armenian territory and kill Armenian soldiers and civilians, Armenia has been forced to cooperate with any country it wants to counterattack Azerbaijan, including Iran. I have the right.