Statement on Tensions on the Border with the Republic of Azerbaijan
The Solution is not Saber Rattling but Reaching an Understanding and Agreement!
Persistent tensions on the country's borders, this time sparked in the northwest of the country. With the deployment of military units from several parts of the country to the northern borders, a large-scale maneuver called "Khyber Conquerors" was held on the Iranian-Azerbaijani-Armenian border, and the leaders of the Islamic Republic declared it getting ready to protect the borders and to neutralize suspicious movements. This action provoked the reaction of the Azerbaijani government, Ilham Aliyev and Azerbaijan's reaction was immediately met with a response from Iran, which would not stand idly by in the face of any conspiracy behind its borders, including the presence of the "Zionists" in Azerbaijan and change of borders.
The "defensive" maneuver of the Islamic Republic takes place after the so-called "Three Brothers" maneuver, which a few weeks ago was organized by Baku, Ankara, and Islamabad on the territory of Azerbaijan, and was interpreted as an "offensive" play by the Islamic Republic. A movement that not only meant the continuation and increase of Turkey's role in the territory of Azerbaijan, but also the questionable presence of Pakistan belonging to the South Asian region in the Caucasus region. From 2017, Pakistan has entered into special relations with Turkey and this summer in a trilateral agreement with Turkey and Azerbaijan has formed a strategic alliance. All this could indicate formation of a new bloc in the region.
Turkey's plans for its full-fledged concentration and deployment in Azerbaijan and for its strategic role in Baku's policies are not behind-the-scenes but a public presence. For Turkey, Azerbaijan is a stronghold in northern Iran to upset the balance of power as much as possible, as well as a tool to dominate one of Iran's lines of communication with Russia and Europe, which passes through Azerbaijan, which is of immense importance to Iran and its national interests. Turkey's transit connection with the Caspian Sea to the Turkic republics of Central Asia is also seen as a sign of Ankara's stabilization on our northern borders.
In addition, there is the issue of expanding relations between Baku and Tel Aviv, which strongly foments the Islamic Republic's fear of interactions in the region. The Iranian regime does not limit relations between the two to arms for oil deals, accusing it of conducting espionage operations, directing the assassination of nuclear scientists from there and setting up an offensive base near the Iranian border by Israel, without being able to provide evidence to substantiate its claims.
The triangular maneuver also took place at a time when Baku, with new customs regulations in the Zangezur lane and demanding tolls from Iranian trucks traveling in the lane, raised the arrayal of troops of the two sides in another phase. Apart from the recent diplomatic grievances between the parties, the issue of dispute is old and beyond customs regulations. This is a crisis that is now going to occur even in border disputes and the creation of border disturbances. Confrontations during the expression of verbal friendships continue to the extent that Azerbaijan and Turkey jointly conducted another three-day maneuver called "Unbreakable Brotherhood" in Nakhchivan, and Iran reciprocally prevented planes from passing from Nakhchivan to Azerbaijan through Iranian skies. The retaliation of the parties continues.
Following the withdrawal of the Nagorno-Karabakh region from the Armenian occupation forces last fall, the Azerbaijani government is now pursuing an aggressive policy, backed by a strong Turkish presence on its territory, strengthening relations with Moscow, and strong suspicions of encouragement from the Israeli government.
The fact is that Iran is once again paying the price of the Islamic Republic's foreign policy in the whole region for several decades. For an extended period of time, this regime has been in propagating Velayat-e-Faqih and exporting ideology to the historically Shiite country of Azerbaijan, and now its open support for the "Husseiniun" population in this country has caused such a stir that the Azerbaijani government has sealed one of its subordinate centers, the "Office of the Supreme Leader" in Baku. The government of Azerbaijan, of course, has not remained silent, either secretly or in its pan-Turkic circles, whether affiliated with or independent of the regime, has been involved in recruiting extremists from Iranian Azerbaijan.
The Islamic Republic has sided with Yerevan in the conflicts between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the past three decades, albeit covertly, and has used this bias as a means of exerting pressure on Baku. Only last year the Iranian regime reconsidered its biased three-decade-long policy and formally supported the recapture of the occupied territories of Azerbaijan by Armenia. The operation, in which Azerbaijan was able to make up for its humiliating defeat by Armenia in the 1990s, with comprehensive logistical and even Turkish forces, as well as advanced weapons by Israel. On the other hand, Yerevan, contrary to Tehran's calculations, had chosen a policy of closeness to the United States in parallel with maintaining the traditional ties with Moscow. As a result of these interactions, Russia, on the one hand, and Turkey, on the other, played a role, and Iran became more defensive. The recent military showdown of the Islamic Republic should be seen more as a sign of its weak position and a fruitless struggle to compensate for its delays. The non-approval of the Caspian Sea juridical regime by Iran, according to which the military presence of any non-coastal country in the sea is prohibited, prevents the Islamic Republic from reacting to Azerbaijan for a naval exercise with Turkey a few weeks ago, even in the Caspian Sea, let alone legal objections to Israel's presence in that country. So, the question remains, when does the Islamic Republic want to realize that resorting to artillery and tanks is not a way to recoup defeat?
The Islamic Republic has failed, lost, and stalled the country in foreign relations. For many years, Iran has been seen by most Arab countries as a real enemy and a primary threat, with the only exception being Syria and Iraq, where the regime's "strategic depth" policy is gradually being undermined. The heavy financial, political, and humanitarian investment in Syria, the monopolistic distribution of the consequences of the crisis in Syria between Russia and Turkey, and the establishment of the Amman telephone connection with Damascus are the latest examples of Bashar al-Assad's recovery from the Arab capitals. In Iraq, too, the process of relying on Arab nationalism is accelerating.
The policy of "Death to Israel" of the Islamic Republic and the strengthening of the "Islamic Intifada" instead of consolidating the national unity of the Palestinians, on the one hand, has been openly blocked by the "Ibrahim Peace" plan, which is expanding and on the other hand, effectively has turned Israel from one occupier country into a specious country that is neighboring Iran through the "Kurdistan Region" and the Republic of Azerbaijan.
What is happening now in the South Caucasus region is an aspect of a major geopolitical turnaround in the world over the past two decades that still has a long way to go to achieve stability. This change, in which the collapse of the bipolar world follows the failure of the United States to replace the collapsed order with a unipolar system, not only faces the simultaneous global formation of several superpowers such as the United States, China, Russia, the European Union, and so on, rather, it shows the emergence of regional powers of different sizes in every region of the world. This phenomenon has occurred in a much more acute form, especially in the Greater Middle East region with its extensions in the Caucasus, Southwest and Central Asia.
A highly militarized region in which the equations are unfortunately increasingly shaped not by balanced economic requirements and realistic diplomacy, but by "military leverage" ambitions and ideological conflicts. This process is accompanied by alliances with fierce rivalries mixed with tensions and sometimes even proxy wars, creation of strategic depth beyond borders and hegemonic ambition, exportation of ideology and in a word, a state of turmoil that peace and balance perspective cannot be seen in it.
Based on this fact and with the collapse of a bipolar world, the Islamic Republic was one of the first powers in the region to accelerate its long-held expansionist ambitions, which had become operational in the war with Iraq to "conquer Jerusalem through Karbala." But this goal due to its hostile nature and contrary to the national interests of our country and inconsistent with the realities of the region, has caused anti-Iranian consequences. In particular, the roadmap for achieving this goal, relying on the two pillars of the nuclear project and the long-range missile program on the one hand, and resorting to proxy wars on the other, has doubly deadly consequences.
The Islamic Republic does not pursue a foreign policy based on constructive relations with other countries. Its basis in formulating foreign policy is not to represent the national interests of Iranians, but to impose its own agenda on other neighbors.
A foreign policy that fails to strengthen national unity and national trust and, conversely, exacerbates and deepens ethnic divisions within the country is nothing but anti-national policy. The type of policy of the Islamic Republic in the South Caucasus has not only not improved Iran's position in the constructive relations in this region but has also given rise to dangerous military expeditions. A significant part of the recent controversy should be attributed to the harmful behavior of the Islamic Republic.
However, it is a mistake to attribute the escalation of ethnic theological controversies at the level of political confrontations of the day and in the form of future bloody confrontations only to the type of foreign policy of the regime. The issue of national and ethnic diversity in our country is an important and endogenous reality of its structure and culture. Therefore, just as the elimination of national discrimination in Iran is a support for the advancement of a balanced and long-term foreign policy with its neighbors, on the contrary, the application and intensification of national and ethnic discrimination can pave the way for creating an ethnic base for rivals. One of the ominous manifestations in the light of recent events was the emergence of gaps related to the national and ethnic issue and its performance, including in Azerbaijan, Iran, which showed how serious the "national issue" is. It turned out that what a formidable force the centrist chauvinist force under the name of Iran-centered is, with its advice and pressure on the center of power to conduct adventures, and the complement of that pan-Turkism that can play a very destructive role in nationalism in Azerbaijan.
The Left Party of Iran (People’s Fadaian) believes that our country's policy towards the South Caucasus should be a policy of friendship with its neighbors. Our country’s policy must be refraining from any excess and at the same time standing up for national interests and overseeing constructive relations with each of these countries, including Azerbaijan and Armenia, until the level of formation of a regional union is reached. This approach should also be part of our overall foreign policy towards the world and the region. Our country needs to establish relations with all the countries of the world, and it can also benefit from this union by appearing as a creative element of a regional union in the Middle East, relying on its enormous potential.
From our point of view, accepting the 3+3 plan is a realistic action that can lead to resolving the existing tensions in this region. Since the differences in the foreign policy of the 3+3 countries (the three republics of the South Caucasus, including Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia, along with Russia, Iran, and Turkey) are not small, it is necessary to strengthen it with additional measures, including resolving the issue of dividing the Caspian Sea through the convention with the least harm. In relation to the tensions that have arisen, it is necessary to rely on diplomacy to guarantee Iran's right to use the transit road of the Zangezur Mountains.
In any case, the way for Iran is to end the policy of Israel's annihilation so that it will not and cannot seek an aggressive border in the west, south and north of our country. The way for Iran is the unconditional revival of JCPOA, and the acceptance of the fact that resolving nuclear crisis without generating trust in the region is not guaranteed. The way for Iran is to leave anti-Americanism and establish a balanced relationship with all the big powers and the region, and not slogan of "neither East nor West" and now the policy of "looking East" to continue "anti-West".
The essence of our word is a general transformation; And given the important and sensitive position that Iran has in this strategic position of the world, a role that our country can and should play so that the idea of proxy war gives way to inclusive peace.
We have no doubt that the continuation of the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic will bring no other result than the occasional convulsions on all sides of the country's water and land borders in the four directions of north, south, west, and east of Iran.
Political-Executive Board of the Left Party of Iran (People’s Fadaian)
October 11, 2021