On May 14, 2011, the Iranian Embassy in Armenia made an unprecedented statement, having two very important moments in it. The statement says that the official position of Iran on all foreign political issues is expressed exclusively by the President, Foreign Minister and the Spokesman of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, so all other approaches should be considered as private opinions.
By Sahak SHAHMURADIAN
Aliq newspaper correspondent
In connection with the events, explosively developing in the Arab world at present, there have appeared some changes in the strategies of the powers from the West and East regarding the region of theMiddle East.
Iran’s neighbourhood with the South Caucasus dates back to the start of the history known to mankind, which cannot be said about Russia and Turkey. Iran’s border with the region has not been changed since the Russian-Persian war of 1826-1828, it has not waged wars beyond its borders or displayed military ambitions, which also cannot be said about the two mentioned countries.
The so called “Arab spring” to some extent overshadowed the summer events of 2009 in Iran, where the controversial presidential elections were followed by mass protest movements. However, Iran is still in the focus of attention of international community, as a whole, and our society, in particular, but it is mainly due to its nuclear program, or the foreign policy in the region. If the internal situation in Iran is spoken about, then mostly concerning the disagreements between the President and spiritual leader.
The relations between the two countries should be considered in parallel contexts of history and modern times. Azerbaijan was within the Iranian (Persian) empire for a long time, and before the Russian conquest of the Caucasus and Trans-Caucasus Azerbaijani khanates were in the immediate or indirect dependence from Iran. According to some sources, after the collapse of the Russian empire and by the results of the World War One, Tehran applied to the western countries with the request to annex Azerbaijan to Iran, referring to the history of the long existence of Azerbaijan within Iran.
TheTehranregime has become a problem for all, includingAzerbaijanandArmenia
Recently being inBaku, the speaker of the Iranian parliament Ali Larijani has once again proposedTehranas a mediator for the settlement of the Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict for Nagorno Karabakh. None of experts or politicians has taken the statement of the speaker of the Iranian parliament seriously.
“The Arab spring” has forced the whole world to focus attention to the region, called theMiddle East. The events, taking place in almost all countries of the region, one after another, have changed the situation in these countries and their place and role in the region.
The Armenian-Iranian relations have a reciprocal importance. In early 1990s, it was the Iranian territory that was almost the only way, connectingArmeniawith the outside world, and todayIranis still important forArmeniaas a transit country. As forArmenia, it is important forIranfrom the view of the national security, soTehranis interested in the stable and strongArmenia. In other words, in the current situation the relations between the two countries, ideally, should be developing and strengthening without any obstacle.
Developments in theMiddle Easthave always been in the focus of attention of the international community. In the recent times such attention has been doubled, which is connected with the turbulent events, going on in the Arab world. There is some danger that they will spill over to the whole region, including the neighbouringIran, where after the Presidential elections of 2009 passions have not calmed down so far.
Expert in the Iranian issues
In the summer of 2009, after the presidential elections in Iran, the local reformers occupied towns and held large-scale protest actions against the re-elected President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, a number experts of political science and law expressed their concern that the fall of the Islamic regime in Iran can lead to fragmentation of the country, including to declaration of independence by the Iranian Azeris and creation of the Southern Azerbaijan close to the southern border of Armenia. Although this concern has its logic, incorrect comments should be avoided when analyzing the events.