DECEMBER 9, 2022
Iran News

Iran Opposes "Geopolitical Changes" in the Caucasus Amid Tensions Over Zangezur Corridor

Iran Opposes "Geopolitical Changes" in the Caucasus Amid Tensions Over Zangezur Corridor

Iran has expressed its opposition to any "geopolitical changes" in the Caucasus region, particularly concerning Azerbaijan's plans for the Zangezur land corridor along the Armenian-Iranian border. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanani, while supporting Azerbaijan's reclamation of Nagorno-Karabakh, emphasized Iran's clear position against altering the geopolitical dynamics in the region.

The Zangezur corridor is designed to connect mainland Azerbaijan to the Nakhchivan exclave and further to Turkey. Iran, historically at odds with Azerbaijan, has reservations about this transport link, as it could impact its geopolitical interests.

Despite expressing support for Azerbaijan's actions in Nagorno-Karabakh, Iran maintains a firm stance against broader changes in the region. The strained relations between Baku and Tehran, influenced by Azerbaijan's alliance with Turkey, add complexity to the situation.

Following Azerbaijan's military offensive in Nagorno-Karabakh, there are concerns that Azerbaijan might extend its operations into southern Armenia to establish territorial continuity with Nakhchivan. Such a move could have implications for Iran, as the annexation of the corridor would limit its access to Armenia and, consequently, Europe.

Nasser Kanani's comments came after a meeting between the Secretary of Armenia's Security Council, Armen Grigoryan, and his Iranian counterpart, Ali Akbar Ahmadian, in Tehran. The discussions included the latest developments in the South Caucasus and military movements in the region.

Iran, which shares borders with Azerbaijan and Armenia, has a significant Azeri-speaking community of around 10 million people and a smaller Armenian community of just under 100,000 people. The longstanding tensions between Azerbaijan and Iran escalated in January when an attack on Baku's embassy in Tehran resulted in the killing of a diplomat.

Tehran is wary of potential Israeli involvement, given Israel's role as a major weapons supplier to Azerbaijan. There are concerns that Azerbaijani territory could be used for an offensive against Iran, heightening geopolitical complexities in the region.

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