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The victims are the People! Let the Existing Borders Remain and Become Circles of Friendship!

The victims are the People! Let the Existing Borders Remain and Become Circles of Friendship!
The Statement the Left Party of Iran Concerning the War Developments in Karabakh

September 28, 2023

Once again, the monster of war and destruction and subsequent fear of revenge flew over "Nagorno-Karabakh". By closing the Lachin Corridor - this is the only way of communication between the region and the Republic of Armenia - the Azerbaijani government prepared a plan to determine the "Karabakh issue" since 9 months ago. The plan was implemented by sending "environmental" settlers to Lachin Corridor under the pretext of preventing the destruction of Azerbaijan's mines, so that the next military force in Karabakh would appear justified under the pretext of defending them. Baku's demand is the unconditional surrender of the armed forces of Dashnak and the dissolution of the "illegal government" of Artsakh, which even Yerevan has not been willing to recognize.

According to the 2020 ceasefire agreement, the control of this vital corridor was handed over to the Russian military force of more than 2,000 people to play a protective role as a buffer. But this mediating force took a passive position during the recent war operations and Russia did not go beyond recommending the parties to exercise restraint. Being aware of 2 important factors, one was Russia's involvement in the war in Ukraine and the other was the coldness of relations between Moscow and Yerevan, which was further enhanced by holding a joint exercise of the Armenian army with units of the American army on the territory of Armenia and Yerevan's apparent distance from the "regional defense pact", the government of Azerbaijan saw the right time to carry out this operation and realized it with the political support of Turkey.

The Armenian-Azerbaijani war, which is breaking out for the third time and may be the last in Nagorno-Karabakh, apart from the causes that are rooted in the nationalist conflicts of the 1920s, the first time happened in the early 90s and killings of both sides during the Somgait, Aghdam and Shusha tragedies. The second time was in 2020, which caused heavy casualties on Armenians and finally ended in the recent war, which, despite the short duration of the operation, has left more than two hundred human casualties. This series of wars between two extreme nationalisms and sometimes with the color of religion, in its continuation and reaching today's human catastrophe, has caused more than 50% of the 120 thousand Armenians living in Karabakh being afraid of an unclear future and fear for their lives, leave their hometowns and homes to go to Armenia or Russia, depending on the possibilities.

A historical look at this complex nationalist dilemma shows that the Karabakh issue, regardless of its endogenous aspect, has been used by global and regional powers throughout history and has not been free from external provocations. Now, in addition to the Lachin Pass, the main dispute and claim is over the 36-kilometer Zangezur Corridor, which connects Nakhchivan, which belongs to Azerbaijan, to the mainland by passing through the heart of Armenia. It is not only Baku that wants to take over the crossing, but Ankara also supports this dream to use Zangezur as a connecting bridge with Azerbaijan and through it to the Caspian Sea and Central Asia. For China, this passage is also considered a part of the Silk Road Economic Belt, and from the point of view of Russia, it is considered one of the north-south connecting passages. In addition, for America and Europe, it is considered a sensitive point of the strategic region surrounded by the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea, and an area located in the south of Russia, northeast of Turkey and northwest of Iran.

The issue in relation to our country even has dimensions beyond economic and political dimensions and it clearly goes back to its geopolitical borders with Armenia and the transit extension of Iran to the Black Sea. It should be stated here that the Islamic Republic, like many other fields in foreign policy, has a passive and contradictory policy in this junction and has never been able to offer a certain innovative solution due to its anti-Western outlook. From a hostile point of view, there won’t be any national initiative, and unfortunately here too, due to the Islamic Republic's domination over the country, another loss is lurking in Iran.

The issue of the Zangezur Corridor carries with it sensitive geopolitical dimensions. On the one hand, a part of this corridor is located in the territory of Armenia, and any action to separate it is like changing the borders in this region and will have unpredictable consequences. In fact, if the control of this corridor falls into the hands of Azerbaijan, the seed of another regional conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia will be sowed from now on. Also, considering the economic importance of this corridor for Iran, after meeting with Elham Aliyev in Nakhchivan, Erdogan announced in order to gain Iran's satisfaction that this economic corridor can also pass through Iran's territory, but he did not provide a guarantee for the seriousness of this promise. Therefore, our country is in a sensitive situation and any possible military confrontation will lead to more misery for the people of the region and expose our country to its losses.

The Left Party of Iran is of the opinion that although the historical legacy related to the geographical structure of Azerbaijan and Armenia and their intermingling has been such that it is prone to conflicts, it was not and is not destined for this region to burn so painfully many times in the fire of hostility and nationalism. In the world of mutual interests, there are enough ways to contain narrow-minded warlike nationalism and put the foundation on the common interests of people. It should be noted that it is possible to displace, oppress and suffocate people with war, but the desire of those people will turn into hatred in their hearts and will become the basis for the next war. This war, like any other war, has made tens of thousands displaced and homeless. The main task is to establish peace and provide security and comfort for the refugees of this war and the families of its victims.

Karabakh is a part of the territory of Azerbaijan, but not exclusive to Azerbaijani Turks. The Armenians living in Khankandi and Shusha have lived with the Turkic speakers of Azerbaijan for hundreds of years and they have the right to manage their internal affairs from now on and to enjoy education in their mother language and to live according to their customs and culture. We say no to the maximalism of "Dashnaksion" and its continuation today, and to the "equality" of yesterday and the continuation of Pan-Turkism today. In this critical moment, we emphasize the duty and role of the United Nations in order to prevent the spread of human disasters in this region contaminated with national hatred.

The Left Party of Iran, which is against any kind of chauvinism and other antagonism, defends the democratic rights of everyone, regardless of their national and ethnic affiliation and wherever they are. We wish friendship with each other for the two countries in the northwest of Iran and we want security for all for the entire region. Our party is also against any violation of the existing borders, including Iran's borders with its neighbors, and from the position of peace and comprehensive construction, insists on preserving the borders and turning them into circles of friendship, and defends the human rights and security of war refugees.

Political-Executive Board of the Left Party of Iran
September 28, 2023

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