By: Kayhan Int’l Staff Writer
The southern Caucasus region is too important for Iran, either to be indifferent towards local political developments there, or to the infiltration in that region of outside powers, especially the enemies of the Iranian and Azeri Muslim people, as well as that of the Armenian Christian people.
The region has for millenniums been part of Greater Persia and its people share many commonalities in history, culture, ethnicity, and language.
In view of these undeniable facts, security in the southern Caucasus is of vital importance for Iran, which for the past 30 years since the Soviet Union’s collapse, has patiently and cautiously followed developments to its northwest, including the war between the republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia.
Among Iran’s main strategic objectives are unhindered trade ties and prevention of US-Israeli penetration in the southern Caucasus.
Unfortunately, the authoritarian regime in Baku has been playing with fire in spite of the goodwill shown towards it by the Islamic Republic of Iran.
In addition to cozying up to the illegitimate Zionist entity, the rulers in Baku have tried obstruct Iran’s trade ties with Armenia and through it with Georgia, Russia, and Europe.
The first provocative move in this regard was in September 2021 when they started to check and tax Iranian trucks along the Goris-Kapan highway, which connects Armenia with Iran and has partially been under Azerbaijani control, following the devastating war over Qarabagh last year.
During the war, Armenia was forced to hand over to Azerbaijan some 20 kilometers of the 400 kilometer road that connects Iran’s Norduz border to Yerevan.
It is on this sector that Baku with the backing of the US and Israel has begun to levy illegal taxes on Iranian trucks and despite the Islamic Republic’s earnest diplomatic efforts for good neighbourliness, it refuses to see realities on the ground.
The Islamic Republic has duly warned that it has the full right to retaliate against the presence of the Israelis as well as of Daesh terrorists in the Republic of Azerbaijan for the good of the brotherly Muslim Azeri people themselves.
At the same time, Iran has begun to build another road from Norduz to Armenia through Syunik, as well as an alternative road through Tatev.
The completion of this transit road, of which less than 15 kilometers remain, will enable Iran and Armenia to bypass the 20 km stretch of the Goris-Kapan highway that is under Azeri control.
It is worth noting that forty-percent of landlocked Armenia’s trade with the outside world is carried out through Iran.
Thus, it is hoped that before it is too late the regime in Baku will come to its senses and stop playing with fire, especially in view of the latest statement of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei that “it is a sin to establish ties with Israel.”
Most surely, the Muslim people of the republic of Azerbaijan have heard and read this statement of the venerable Leader in their mother tongue Azeri, and what it means.