By: Kayhan Int’l Staff Writer
The Caucasus had known peace as long as ‘Pax Persiana’ prevailed in the region for long centuries until it was disturbed by the dubious treaties of Gulistan (1813) and Turkmanchai (1828) that detached from Qajarid Iran and placed under the rule of the Czar a string of Khanates stretching from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea that today from the republics of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Chechen-Ingushetia and Daghestan.
A century ago with the emergence of the Soviets, especially under the dictator Joseph Stalin, the Caucasus was arbitrarily divided into ‘oblasts’ and autonomous regions, thus laying the seeds of the present tensions, ethnic cleansings, and wars that continue to evade solutions.
The current conflict between the republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Karabakh region (formerly the Khanate of Qarabagh), is in its second month and has so far claimed over a thousand lives, besides bringing destruction to towns and cities.
Unfortunately, it has its roots in the 70-year Godless communist rule that ended in 1991 and gave the opportunity for devilish outsiders such as the Americans and the Zionists to infiltrate the region to further fan the flames of ethnic hatred and wars.
The Islamic Republic of Iran, which shares borders with both the warring sides, and is close to the area of conflict from which shells have landed inside Iranian territory, naturally wants peace to prevail in view of the fact that Tehran enjoys cordial relations with both Baku and Yerevan, besides the historical and cultural connections.
It has thus launched a broad-based peace initiative, taking into confidence not only the republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia, but the two important regional countries, that is, Russia and Turkey, in order to find a lasting solution, which is not impossible, provided outsiders do not poke their dirty noses.
It is worth noting that Armenia has already expelled the Israeli ambassador from Yerevan for his mischief-mongering remarks, while the Americans, who can never be trusted, have their own vested interests in pretending to arrange peace talks between the two sides, but not necessarily for a permanent solution, since they have transported international terrorists to the region to destabilize the whole region.
In such a situation, Russia’s brokering of two rounds of ceasefires, have failed to halt the bloodletting in the Caucasus.
Now all eyes are on Iran, as Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi is on a visit to the region, and after holding fruitful talks in Baku and Moscow, has concluded a successful trip to Yerevan where he got assurances for peaceful parleys, before leaving for Ankara.
Foreign Minister of Armenia, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, after reviewing Iran’s peace plan, said Tehran has the potential for cooperation with the warring sides to help establish a ceasefire in the disputed region.
He said Yerevan understands Iran’s sensitivity to new threats to regional security and hailed Iran’s role in maintaining stability and peace in the region.
Araqchi clearly said that lasting peace requires holding several stages of talks, "and, of course, the end of occupation of the territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan.”
He called it "an important element” in Tehran’s plan and said: "The protection of minority rights and humanitarian rights is another basis for Iran’s initiative to end the Karabakh conflict.”
Interestingly, Russian President Vladimir Putin said last Thursday after talks with Araqchi that his government "is absolutely open with regard to the possibility of handing over,” the occupied regions to the republic of Azerbaijan, "alongside the provision of a specific regime for the Karabakh zone and the securing of a link with Armenia.”
So let us keep our fingers crossed for a lasting solution to the tragic Karbakh conflict between two of Iran’s friendly neighbours.