IRAN. Armenian attack in a panturkist key. Teheran takes the field

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Since 14 September, reports Iranian analyst Salar Seif of the National Defence Institute: ‘Full combat readiness has been declared on the Iranian-Armenian border, infantry and armoured army units are deployed on the border’.

To mobilise in favour of Armenia, Paris; French MP Valérie Baouillet said: ‘France must not just call for a ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan. It must demand the imposition of sanctions against Azerbaijan, whose actions are supported by Turkey. All measures against Russia should also be applied to the Azerbaijani autocracy’.

These words also bring to light a subtle and obvious Turkish manoeuvre to detach Armenia from Iran. Turkish TV stations also speak of this intent. In a speech by a Turkish expert to the TV channel TGRT during the Azerbaijani-Armenian clashes on 13 September 2022, he said: ‘The Azerbaijani army is making its way into this corridor with claws and teeth. This corridor breaks the link between Iran and Armenia and connects Armenians to the Turkish world’. This historic event will be completed and, according to the analyst, only 20 kilometres remain to connect Nakhijevan to the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Essentially, then, the occupation of Artsakh and Azerbaijan’s subsequent moves towards Armenia are the implementation of a plan to create the so-called Greater Turan (the Panturkist project). And according to the Armenians, the plan is being implemented with dangerous consequences for the whole world.

France’s words to the UN Security Council were of little use: ‘Armenia’s territorial integrity must be respected’.

Meanwhile. Turkish National Defence Minister Hulusi Akar had a telephone conversation with his Azerbaijani counterpart Zakir Hasanov. This was reported by Turkey’s Ministry of National Defence. The ministers discussed the escalating situation on the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Akar emphasised that Turkey would continue to provide strong support to brotherly Azerbaijan according to the principle of ‘one nation – two states’.

Russia, which has always been at the forefront in dealing with the Azerbaijani-Armenian issue, also called for the implementation of the peace treaty signed in 2022, Maria Zakharova spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “Despite the current escalation and tension, the experts’ analysis of what happened, the work on preparing a peace treaty between Armenia and Azerbaijan has not stopped and this is probably the main priority.”

In the meantime, Iranian intervention in favour of Armenia is being consolidated. As mentioned above, Iran has offered to support the peace process. This was reiterated in Samarkand during the SCO summit by Iranian President Raisi, who in his meeting with President Vladimir Putin reminded the Russians once again that certain countermeasures could be taken by Iran in this case.

Iran agrees that Turkey wants to cut the Armenian border with Iran. Iran told the Russians and Turks that in the region, besides them, there is also Tehran that will protect its own interests, even if the interests of third parties do not coincide with Iranian interests. On 16 September, again at the Samarkand summit, Tehran, through the mouth of Raisi, said it rejects any change in the recognised borders between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

As of 13 September, IRGC units continue to transfer equipment to the border with Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Units of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces are located, on 16 September, 4.5 km from Jermuk. Chief of Staff of the Armenian Armed Forces Eduard Asryan said: ‘Considering the superiority of the enemy, we lost part of our fighting positions and through these cracks the enemy was able to penetrate deep into our defences’. He further said that ‘the Azerbaijani armed forces advanced 1.5 km in the direction of Nerkin Khand and Verin Shorzha and 0.5 km in the direction of Ishkhanasar. In other directions, the enemy was pushed back’.

Responding to the question of which deepest point of Armenia’s territory Azerbaijan aimed at, the Chief of General Staff of the Armenian Armed Forces said: ‘As a result of its operations, Azerbaijan aimed at the town of Martuni on the shore of Lake Sevan.

Graziella Giangiulio