GSAC Analytics

Removal of restrictions on military-technical cooperation with Iran in the context of the war for Karabakh

Removal of restrictions on military-technical cooperation with Iran in the context of the war for Karabakh

In the context of lifting the embargo on the import and export of arms from Tehran, signals are already being sounded about the readiness to immediately “get involved in the process.” On the one hand, a scenario arises when Iran will try to speed up and make the most of Washington’s geopolitical stuck in connection with the presidential campaign. But I still think that Tehran, outside the framework of rhetoric, will try to play for the long term, forming new, if not allied structures, then more successful positions for further bargaining with the United States – whoever becomes the owner of the White House. Arms supplies are, of course, important, but there is an economy that has sagged under many years of sanctions, and public protests, and, ultimately, its own presidential “transit” in 2021.

Yes, Iran today cannot distance itself from the escalation on the Karabakh front, the hostilities are taking place directly at its borders. Let me remind you that at the dawn of the conflict, Tehran in the early 1990s tried to play an active and really mediating role in the settlement. Then, however, nothing came of it. One can, for example, recall the Iranian-Azerbaijani project of the Khudaferin hydroelectric power station, which, as it was once thought long ago, should have given impetus to the de-occupation of Karabakh. And today the front already dictates that the de-occupation is obliged to accelerate the implementation of this project … In recent years, Iran, for a combination of reasons, was forced to put up with the sole role of the Kremlin in the arbitration and management of Karabakh. At the same time, Tehran has always been categorically not interested in bias in favor of one of the regional players (hello to Lavrov’s “peacekeeping” initiative) or the appearance of extra-regional centers of power on the “Karabakh map”. And now in Iran they simply cannot fail to notice the once monopoly positions of Moscow that have shaken in favor of Ankara.

In light of the lifting of the arms embargo on Iran and its possible impact on the war for Karabakh, it is worth discussing, of course, about Iranian exports in the interests of Armenia. From the very beginning of the current exacerbation, Iran provided the transit of the Russian “military trade” for Yerevan. I think that even now, against the background of Tehran’s public support for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, this supply channel has not been completely turned aside. Another question is that its scale, even before the cut, could hardly significantly affect the situation at the front. As well as, for example, Russian deliveries by passenger planes.

I think that Tehran intends to take a very balanced approach to the prospect of increasing its exports to the Karabakh conflict zone, being interested in maintaining working relations with both Yerevan and Baku. Remembering, for example, about “their own Azerbaijan” in the north-west of the country. It is hardly possible to covertly crank something significant. Tehran does not yet pay attention to the Kremlin’s attempts to give the war for Karabakh an interreligious character (which is logical in light of the Kremlin’s very “nonlinear” logic in the formation of situational alliances). As well as on the “anti-terrorist” initiatives of Moscow.

Unfortunately, the possibility of Tehran’s direct intervention in the conflict cannot be considered zero. Iran is already sufficiently armed for this without additional purchases. Strengthening the border grouping is justified by the close proximity of hostilities. The large-scale intervention of Iran will mean the “Sirization” of the war over Karabakh. This is the most tragic scenario for the region. I hope that while all parties directly or indirectly involved in the conflict a) understand the scale of the consequences, b) retain the tools to prevent such a scenario …

Володимир Копчак (Volodimir Kopchak) , комментарий порталу Зеркало.az (source)