By David Davidian, WGI, Yerevan, 1 November 2022
On numerous occasions over the past several weeks and extending back almost two years, high officials of the Iranian government have claimed that any border change between Armenia and Iran at the behest of Azerbaijan and Turkey would represent an existential threat to Iran.
A border change would symbolize capitulation to the Azerbaijani demand for constructing a ‘corridor’ between rump Azerbaijan and its exclave of Nakhichevan, crossing Armenia. (Access roads exist worldwide; for example, Campione d’Italia’s exclave in Switzerland). However, Baku has strongly implied or demanded that this road shall not be under Armenian sovereignty. Effectively, such a transport route could cut off Armenia from its regions south of such a road, extending to the Iranian border. Tehran has stated that such a move would be an existential threat to Iran as it would result in the placement of NATO forces across the entire stretch of its northwest border; such a ‘corridor’ could be used to move NATO-Turkish weaponry into Azerbaijan proper. As it is, Azerbaijan already hosts Israeli bases whose function is intelligence-gathering on Iran and forward deployment of armament that can be used against Iran. Despite the fact that Azerbaijan denies all such claims, but the evidence tells another story.
Excellent analysis, and very clearly outlined choices. Thank you Mr Davidian.
I am bewildered by the pusillanimous attitude of the entire Armenian leadership. We look lacking diplomacy and military will. Why would a stronger Armenian army be perceived as a provocation? Are we so frozen to this extent in face of the danger of imminent aggression by the Aliyev dictatorship? Why cannot we arm and train border populations in Syunik? It is beyond me, we are going straight to catastrophe…