Israel supplies Azerbaijan with drones and other high-tech weapons that helped Baku tip the military balance in its favor in last year’s war with Armenia. (Supplied)

October 9, 2021

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian has said his country does not accept “geopolitical changes” in the Caucasus.

He made his remarks during talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow.

The American researcher and writer from The National Interest, Trevor Filseth, said that “while the comments were offered without reference to any nation, they were presumably directed at Azerbaijan, Iran’s northwestern neighbor, which has cooperated on defense issues with Israel, to Iran’s consternation.”

“We certainly will not tolerate geopolitical change and map change in the Caucasus, and we have serious concerns about the presence of terrorists and Zionists in this region,” Amirabdollahian said during a press conference.

Filseth added, “Azerbaijan and Iran have long had a difficult relationship. In 1945, the Soviet Union sought to promote a secessionist uprising by ethnic Azeris in northwestern Iran, where they have long maintained a demographic majority.

“While the uprising was crushed the following year after Moscow withdrew its support, Iran has long feared Baku’s influence on Iranian Azeris, leading it to build closer relations with Armenia.”

“Iran maintained neutrality during the six-week war from September to November 2020 between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Both countries claim the Nagorno-Karabakh region, known in Armenia as “Artsakh,” which was part of Azerbaijan during the Soviet era but maintained a majority-Armenian population and sought to join Armenia following the Soviet collapse,” he stated.

Filseth went on saying that “while Armenia won the first war in 1994, Azerbaijan decisively won the 2020 rematch—largely owing to the influence of Israeli military technology, including drones. While Azerbaijan’s consequential victory led military planners to study its outcome for lessons, Iran quickly raised concerns about Baku’s use of Israeli weaponry.”

Bloomberg revealed that Israel “supplies Azerbaijan with drones and other high-tech weapons that helped Baku tip the military balance in its favor in last year’s war with Armenia.”

The past weeks saw tension in other fields. Azerbaijan continued its controls and imposed a “road tax” on Iranian trucks moving through its territory. In the process, some Iranian lorry drivers were detained.

“The drills carried out by our country in the northwest border areas are a question of sovereignty,” the Iranian foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement on the ministry website.

Tehran “will take all measures it judges necessary for its national security”, he said, adding, “Iran will not tolerate the presence of the Zionist regime near our borders.”

As Turkey’s efforts to ensure border security against irregular migration and smuggling activities continue, the 20-kilometer section of the security wall in the Caldiran district of the eastern province of Van, on the Iranian border, has been completed.

Van Governor Mehmet Emin Bilmez told Anadolu Agency that “175 kilometers of trenches have been dug. A 64-kilometer wall is being built in three stages. The installation of the 20-kilometer wall has now been completed. The stone used in the 34-kilometer wall has been produced.”

Asharq Al-Awsat

About Track Persia

Track Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.