Iran opens consulate in Armenian region desired by Baku and Ankara


Iran has opened a consulate in the Armenian province of Syunik, in what appears to be a gesture of support for Yerevan, after recent military clashes in the region.

Syunik includes the narrow southern strip of Armenia called Zangezur where it has a land border with Iran and it launched a free trade zone there in 2017 to attract more investment to boost its exports to India. Iran.

Azerbaijan, backed by Turkey, is demanding a transit corridor through Syunik province to gain access to its Nakhchivan autonomous region without Armenian checkpoints.

However, Yerevan opposes the concept saying it is a violation of the ceasefire signed after the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war, which Azerbaijan won, taking back large territories that it Armenia conquered during the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the early 1990s.

Iran supports Yerevan in this dispute because it could lose its only common border with its de facto ally Armenia and the Caucasus.

At the opening of his consulate on Friday In Syunik’s capital, Kapan, the Islamic Republic’s foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, said Tehran would not accept any changes to the region’s historic borders.

“This is our red line and we will take all measures to resist such an intention,” Amir-Abdollahian noted.

Meanwhile, a deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guards said Friday that Iran would react to any moves threatening its land corridor to Europe.

“Azerbaijan achieved what it was looking for, and Karabakh was liberated, and we also congratulated it, but today, if there is aggression, we will face it,” he said. he adds. threatened Ali Akbar Jamshidian.

On the other hand, Azerbaijan and Turkey also inaugurated an international airport here in Zangilan, near the Iranian-Armenian border, on Thursday.

It is the second airport operated in the territories recaptured by Azerbaijan after the 2020 war with Armenia. Last year, another airport was inaugurated in Fizuli in the same region.

During this event, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the concerns of some circles are not accepted regarding the land corridor that Ankara and Baku seek.

Apparently referring to Iran, Erdogan said: “In my opinion, the fears and worries in some circles regarding the Zangezur Corridor, which will connect Nakhchivan to Azerbaijan, are unfounded. There is no room for such fears after the measures taken throughout Karabakh.

Earlier this week, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) launched a large-scale military exercise in the northwestern region of Aras, along the borders of Armenia and Azerbaijan.

In September 2021, tensions erupted between Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan after Baku arrested two Iranian truckersaccusing them of traveling to Nagorno-Karabakh which is within its international borders.

The tensions have led to military drills on either side and political slander, including Iranian accusations that Azerbaijan allows an Israeli military and intelligence presence in its territory.


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